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Collecting Child Support from Self-Employed Parents

Collecting child support can be difficult when a non-custodial parent works sporadically or changes jobs frequently. According to a U.S. Census report, less than half of parents awarded child support actually receive it, and those who pay usually do not provide the full amount ordered.

It can be especially difficult collecting support from a parent who is self-employed. There is no employer to serve with a garnishment order, and most self-employed parents are paid in cash. This makes it easier for such parents to claim that they do not earn enough to satisfy court-ordered support obligations. In these situations, parents must be creative and persistent in tracking down resources. The following tips can help in discovering where money is hidden and to verify your ex's actual income.

Investigate potential hiding places - It helps to think about where money can be hidden, or where income streams can be fabricated. For example, a parent who works as a barber or hair stylist usually is paid in cash, so the salon's bank records can be subpoenaed, or the parent's clients can be called to testify to further investigate how much the parent is actually paid.

Attach property - People who have trouble paying child support usually put their lifestyle first; meaning that they pay a car loan, a home mortgage or have other properties to keep up. Establishing liens on such property is a way to ensure that your debt is paid when the property is sold or transferred. Freezing a person's bank accounts is also a way to obtain overdue support payments.

If you have questions about collecting child support, or need further advice about collecting child support, an experienced family law attorney can help.

Source: Divorce360.com, Policing the self-employed for child support

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