Enforcement activity begins on a case once a child support order is established. A first payment should be made when the order is entered or shortly thereafter. After that, if possible, enforcement happens through wage withholding. However, until wage withholding begins or if the paying parent is not employed, that person is responsible for making the payments according to the schedule set out in the order. For additional information, visit How to Pay Support.
Enforcement Activity on Past-Due Child Support
Additional enforcement activity begins 30 days after the date a payment becomes due. CSSD has several ways to collect on arrears (or past-due child support). The goal always is to educate the parent ordered to pay support about the various options that may be available to avoid heightened enforcement actions. However, CSSD may lawfully take steps to collect payments if they are not paid in full or on time. Depending on the situation, CSSD has authority to pursue actions such as the following:
- Take unpaid child support from state and federal income tax refunds.
- Pursue income connected to certain federal payments (other than tax refunds).
- Locate, freeze, and seize bank or other financial accounts.
- Submit claims on insurance payouts owed to the parent.
- Take past-due child support from lottery winnings.
- Report the arrears balance to the credit bureau agencies.
- Ask the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to revoke or suspend a parent's driver’s license and/or vehicle registration(s).
- Request the U.S. State Department to deny the parent's passport application or suspend an existing passport.
- File a lien on the parent's real estate.
- Withhold child support from disability checks.
- Seize worker’s compensation checks.
- File a motion for civil or criminal contempt of court.