When a non-custody parent refuses or is unable to
provide court ordered child support payments a
hardship is created for the custody parent and the
child or children. There are agencies that
together with the court can help collect child
If the non-paying parent has a job, the court can
order that the wages be garnished for the child
support payments. Once served, the employer
would then deduct the payments from the non-custody
parent's wages and pay them directly to the custody
If the non-paying parent owes a large sum in back
support payments the court can order a judgment for
payment. The parent's assets and income can be
taken so settle the judgment. Bank accounts,
other income and non-exempt assets of value can be
levied and liquidated to satisfy the judgment.
If the non-paying parent is avoiding being
located, the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS)
can be used to determine his/her whereabouts.
The FPLS can be used in connection with parents
owing child support, with parents refusing
visitation rights and with parental kidnapping.
The FPLS maintains a nation wide directory of newly
hired employees and a registry of child support
orders. The two lists are matched every two
days and provided to State agencies.
Some States provide the assistance of State
agencies, such as the district attorney's office, to
assist in collecting court ordered child support.
Other support services may be provided by the court
to aid in payment collection.
States can also collect back payments by
intercepting State and Federal tax refund payments
and liens can be placed on real estate holdings.
Some courts will hold a non-paying parent in
contempt of court if the parent had income that
could have been used to make child support payments.