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What Happens if I Don’t Pay My Child Support?

If a child support order has been entered in your favor, but the other parent has been delinquent in making payments, you have several options available to recover the unpaid child support.

Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE): In each county of Maryland there is a local OCSE that can aid with collecting ongoing and past-due child support payments. OCSE has several mechanisms by which this can be accomplished. These methods include, but are not limited to: wage withholding from employment wages; withholding child support from unemployment wages; intercepting federal and state tax refunds; reporting the parent who owes to credit bureaus; reporting the parent who owes to the MVA (leads to driver’s license suspension), and garnishing bank accounts.

Motion to Compel: another appealing option is to work with an attorney who can file a Motion to Compel with the court, to get a court order from the Judge mandating the back payment. The Judge can also initiate a wage withholding to collect the past due child support, and/or issue an order garnishing bank accounts to collect the owed child support.

Motion for Contempt: another type of motion that an attorney can assist with filing is a Motion for Contempt. In such a motion, the person filing is saying that the other parent should be found in contempt because they violated the child support court order on purpose with the intent of not paying the parent who is owed child support. This is a very serious request. The possible consequences of being found in contempt include monetary penalties or incarceration until there is compliance with the order.

Earnings Withholding Order: an Earnings Withholding Order (EWO) can be particularly helpful when the parent who owes child support has a steady job as the payments will be withheld directly from each paycheck. However, an EWO can also be initiated to collect payments from some pensions, unemployment benefits, Social Security payments, and worker’s compensation payments. The full amount of the child support payments can be withheld in an EWO, along with any back payments owed.

If you need assistance concerning your child support order, get in contact with the family law attorneys at Krum, Gergely, & Oates LLC today for help with your case.