Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of California, and Board of Legal Specialization

Most parents want to provide for their children not only emotionally but also financially. Unfortunately, some parents refuse to pay child support even when court-ordered to do so.

If your co-parent refuses to meet their child support obligation, a seasoned Simi Valley child support enforcement lawyer could explain the legal remedies available to you. A skilled child support attorney from our firm could help you collect back child support using the state’s enforcement mechanisms.

Enforcing Child Support Orders in Simi Valley

Once a parent has court-issued child support order, they can pursue several legal avenues if the other parent refuses to pay. A party can file a petition in Simi Valley family court requesting a judge to hold the nonpaying party in contempt. The parent seeking contempt must prove that the other party willfully disobeyed the child support order.

It is not sufficient to simply demonstrate that the other parent did not pay the child support to obtain a contempt finding. For example, if a parent loses their job and legitimately cannot pay the court-ordered child support amount, a court might decline to find them in contempt. However, a parent contending they cannot pay support must prove this in court by offering evidence of their income and assets.

Under state law, a party must file a contempt of court action for nonpayment of child support within three years from the first missed payment. If a parent files a claim outside of the deadline, they risk losing all or part of the unpaid support. A parent seeking child support arrears should consult a dedicated attorney to ensure the contempt petition is filed in the deadline for enforcement.

Additional Penalties for Failure to Pay Child Support

Once a parent is found in contempt, a judge has numerous remedies available to secure their compliance. Some of these include ordering the nonpaying parent to:

  • Serve time in jail
  • Pay fines and court costs
  • Reimburse the other party for the legal fees incurred in filing and pursuing the contempt action
  • Perform community service

A court could also take the following actions:

  • Place liens on the nonpaying parent’s property
  • Order a delinquent parent’s real or personal property be sold to pay child support under California Family Code §4008
  • Garnish the nonpaying parent’s wages or bank accounts
  • Order that child support be paid from the delinquent parent’s social security disability payments, unemployment compensation, or worker’s compensation
  • Intercept a delinquent parent’s lottery winnings

A parent with questions about child support enforcement should consult a qualified lawyer in Simi Valley.

Suspension of Driver’s Licenses for Nonpayment of Child Support

If a parent falls more than thirty days behind in child support, the California Department of Motor Vehicles can refuse to issue or renew their driver’s license. The delinquent parent can request a temporary driver’s license for up to 150 days. However, if they do not bring their child support payment current, the department will not extend the temporary permit or issue a new one.

A parent who becomes more than 120 days delinquent on child support faces revocation of their driver’s license. They may also be required to pay substantial fines to reinstate their license once they bring their child support obligation current.

A respected lawyer could explain the process for license renewal following a child support enforcement-related suspension or revocation.

Seek Guidance from a Seasoned Simi Valley Child Support Enforcement Attorney

If your co-parent fails to pay child support, you may be unable to meet your child’s needs. You might also be unsure of what steps to take to secure the other parent’s compliance in the future.

If you have questions about securing child support, contact a knowledgeable Simi Valley child support enforcement lawyer. They could evaluate your options and guide you through the legal process.

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