Common questions, concerns, and misunderstandings
The payer works off the books and claims to not have any income. How will the court calculate child support?
Unless the parent is caring for a child under the age of 2-1/2 or is disabled or a full-time student, the parent will be imputed with an income of at least minimum wage or the wage their skill/education could provide.
What happens if the person doesn’t pay the ordered child support?
CSE will garnish the payer’s paycheck if they work for a company, or can intercept any state or federal tax returns from the payer, or can suspend the payer’s driver’s license. The parent receiving child support can also have the court enter judgment against the payer which can then be used to garnish the payer’s bank account or even put a lien against property.
I just located the payer who hasn’t made any payments for years. Can I get interest on the unpaid amount?
Yes, the law allows you to collect 12% interest compounded monthly. However, CSE will not collect interest on your behalf. You or an attorney will need to seek judgment and garnishment to collect interest.
Payer owes a lot in child support arrears and has just declared bankruptcy. Does that mean I can’t collect?
Child support is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. The payer still has to pay child support.
How long do I have to pay child support?
Until the child turn 19 years of age or marries or is otherwise declared emancipated. If a child is disabled or still in high school after turning 19, the parent receiving child support can petition the court for child support to continue.
I pay child support and have my child half the time. Why shouldn’t the other parent have to buy all the child’s clothes since they are receiving child support?
Child support is to assist in paying for shelter, food and supplies for the child who lives at least some of the time with a parent who has less income. Courts generally expect both parents to provide clothing, shoes, coats, etc. for a child who lives almost equally with both parents.
We are supposed to share the income tax child exemption but I ended up having our child all last year. Can I take the exemption even though it is not my year?
Child tax exemption is not determined by parenting time but is in proportion to parent’s income, which also affects child support. If, for example, one parent makes twice what the other parent does, the parent making more will have the tax exemption for two of every three years.
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