Child support - next step?


#1

We’re coming to court soon and I’d like to know if there’s anything else I can do, anything else I can ask of the caseworker in CSE.

Child support has been unpaid in almost a year, despite several hearings. The father obviously believes that he is not required to comply with court orders - he has technically been in contempt of court over several different orders, but I think it’s not a “big enough” case to warrant attention.

I expect to have another ineffective hearing. Apparently his employers have been sent a subpoena, probably for pay stubs. Are they at fault for not arranging child support? It was only paid when a different employer took it automatically from his pay check. Is he required to inform CSE of any changes in employment, and is he at fault for failing to do so? There’s no inability to pay, as he is employed. As far as I can tell he just chooses to not pay, believes there will be no consequences for his actions.

I haven’t been able to obtain copies of this year’s court orders. CSE is no longer mailing them to me, and the clerk of court refuses to send them without the consent of CSE. I don’t know what is currently owed unless I ask CSE.

What is the next step? Is there a next step? The father is not working within the system (for example, not filing for an emergency reduction in child support due to termination of employment, not informing CSE of changes in employment status, refusing to comply with orders requiring a job search, and failure to make any attempt to support the child).

Can I request that the judge consider being a little more harsh about this? I don’t understand the point of ordering someone to pay if they can just choose to ignore it. And does my financial situation have any impact on this? If I bring information about my employment and child-related expenses, can I ask that to be considered? I understand that CSE is overwhelmed right now as the economy is making this hard for everyone, but I don’t see this case going anywhere.


#2

If there is a wage withholding order which the employer has not obeyed, they are in violation of a court order.

Your spouse is required to notify CSE of changes in employment.

You should talk to your case worker about filing a contempt motion.


#3

I just called them, this is apparently a contempt hearing, not a modification based on change in employment (although I think this situation would qualify, I don’t have access to the details of his income, and that would require a separate hearing). And CSE doesn’t actually know if the wage withholding order applies to this employer.

So basically it comes to “Whatever the judge thinks is best” from a variety of possible “next steps.”

Thank you for your incredibly swift answer. You prompted me to call DSS with specific questions, and I was able to get the information I want, rather than relying on the caseworker to decide what I should know. Thank you for this resource, and your specific assistance.


#4

You are most welcome. I wish you the best!