Enforcing a Child Support Order

Unless a parent terminates his or her rights, the law generally requires parents to provide physical and/or financial support for their children. Individuals who fail to pay court-ordered support may be held accountable in a number of ways.

If you are a parent seeking to enforce the terms of a child support order, know that legal options are available to you. An experienced family lawyer in your area will be best positioned to explain which options apply to your situation specifically. As you prepare for a consultation with an attorney, it may help to keep the following two broad options in mind. 


Sometimes, a parent wants to provide necessary financial support for his or her child, but circumstances make it difficult for that parent to pay consistently. If this situation applies to your child’s other parent, one or both of you may benefit from considering modification. Formally filing a modification (either by allowing your attorneys to negotiate one or by formally requesting that the court order one) may allow your situation to improve in a number of ways. For example, if your child’s other parent has trouble consistently making monthly payments because he or she primarily receives work on a seasonal basis, then a modification could help to ensure that greater amounts of money are set aside during strong financial months. This could help so that your child does not suffer as a result of missed payments during the off-season when that parent is not working as much.


In 1984, Congress passed The Child Support Enforcement Act” into law. If you need to ask the court to enforce your existing child support orders, this law will help your attorney to do so. Once you inform your attorney of your circumstances and direct him or her to bring an enforcement action, there is little else that you will need to do to set the wheels in motion. A district attorney will likely serve your child’s other parent with papers insisting that a payment arrangement be made within a specific period of time and in a set way. If your child’s other parent fails to respond to these instructions, he or she could face a host of negative legal consequences designed to both hold him or her accountable and ensure that your child receives necessary support.

Legal Assistance Is Available

If your child’s other parent is not consistently meeting his or her court-ordered child support obligations, legal remedies are available. Please consider connecting with an experienced family lawyer in order to explain the details of your situation. Once a lawyer is sufficiently familiar with your case, he or she will be able to help you enforce the terms of your existing order. Similarly, if you believe that modifying the terms of your child support order may benefit your child, you may speak with a family lawyer like those at Attorney Bernie about supporting you through the formal modification process.