Dear Clients and Friends,
We submit that at all stages of negotiating or contesting child support It behooves one to have a veteran family law attorney actively in your corner.
As most any payor of child support knows: payments are legally a more onerous obligation than any other legal debt one may have. This includes, but is not limited to Federal and State income taxes which are at some point subject to a statute of limitations and/or to a discharge in bankruptcy. Not so with past due child support:
Check out his link for a tear of a smile where as recently as last week a San Diego woman received over $150,000 in back child support from her ex nearly 50 years after he left her and their daughter.
Here is the deal on a child support obligations:
1. No statute of limitations.
2. No bankruptcy discharge
3. Wage assignments (sIn all cases where California support orders are issued, a Wage Assignment Order must be issued and an employer who willfully fails or refuses to honor the order is liable for the amount it should have paid over.)
4. Support orders may be enforced like any other money judgment. This means that you may obtain a Writ of Execution and enforce a money judgment against bank accounts, or property, or even ask that a receiver be placed in a business owned by the payor to collect money as it comes in.
5. Support orders accrue interest at 10% from the due date of each installment and Courts do not have discretion to relieve the payor of the interest. Interest is a serious matter, since at 10%, principal doubles every 7 years.
6. A payee may also be able to recover attorney’s fees incurred for their enforcement actions.
7. FREE world wide enforcement. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) has been adopted in every state, and similar uniform rules for collecting support have been adopted in many foreign jurisdictions which allow for enforcement of orders. The purpose of this uniform act is to augment and expedite spousal and child support enforcement, and even the collection of related attorney fees, wherever a payor of support moves. This way, to the extent that someone relocates between States or simply works in a neighboring state, and whether or not they are avoiding a support obligation, support orders from any issuing state can be enforced quickly and efficiently. And lastly:
8. If the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) becomes involved, additional enforcement options come into play. DCSS must enforce orders where custodial parents are receiving State Welfare and other forms of governmental assistance. In such cases, they may also enforce spousal support orders.
Even if you are not receiving governmental aid you may assign your collection rights for child support to the Department and they must enforce these orders free of cost to you. However, they are over burdened, they are a bureaucracy, and they are not your personal advocate. There are pros and cons in utilizing their services.
For instance, they are able to intercept tax refunds and can access tax records that are otherwise confidential or that the other party just refuses to produce. They can force banks to give up information regarding cash flow. They can cause the California DMV to suspend a driver’s license. They can take away Passports. They can suspend professional licenses. They can seek criminal prosecution for Penal Code failure to support crimes.
DCSS employees are overworked and underpaid. But if a payee lacks funds and access to competent legal counsel, DCSS can be of help.
We continue to provide a free phone evaluation on all family taw and family estate planning matters and we invite you call us to see if we can be of help.