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How to get the child support you’re owed

Earlier this month, we reported on the recent U.S. Census Bureau data which revealed that less than half of custodial parents receive the full amount of child support that is owed to them by their children’s other parents. Approximately one-fourth of parents receive any child support, despite family court orders directing them to may payments. Although there is no such data regarding spousal support, the statistics are likely very similar, if not worse.

Fortunately, there is some good news for custodial parents. Under a 1975 federal law, every state must have an Office of Child Support Enforcement. So if your child’s other parent is not making his or her court-ordered child support payments, the county or state will get involved and take action against that parent on the behalf of your child.

The child support enforcement agency will likely take any of a number of measures to compel the parent to pay child support. These range from garnishing wages or withholding tax refunds, to seizing and selling property, to suspending a driver’s license or passport, to notifying credit bureaus of the unpaid debt, or to criminally charging the parent for contempt of court or a similar violation.

However, there is no such government agency to help spouses obtain the alimony payments owed to them by their former husband or wife. If you are not receiving court-ordered spousal support, you will likely have to file a complaint in family court and prove your case. It is essential that you keep a good record of the alimony payments made and the payments missed in order to prove your case in court. In these situations, it can be extremely helpful to have an experienced Las Vegas divorce attorney on your side.

Source: Forbes, “How Can a Divorcing Woman Get the Child Support, Alimony She is Owed?” Jeff Landers, Dec. 14, 2011

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