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What Can Be Done if a Parent Refuses to Pay Child Support?

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Raising a child is expensive. In many countries around the world there is the expectation that the responsibility of raising their children falls on both parents. Even where the parents are not together there may be legal responsibilities to ensure the child’s welfare. In a lot of places there will be the requirement that absent the absent parent provides some type of child support. In fact the 1992 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates that all members of the UN should guarantee this support.  It may even be that a parent living with the child might be obligated to pay this money in some situations.

What is Child Support?

It is usual for the amount of child support that needs to be paid by the absent parent to be decided by a judge. Once this amount has been stipulated it then becomes a legal requirement to pay it. This money is used for the support and financial care of the child. This money is not only always awarded to the mother of the child; in many instances it can be awarded to the father with the mother required to provide child support.  Child support only refers to financial support and not emotional or spiritual support. The court will use a formula to determine how much child support needs to be paid; each case is unique and a fair amount will be decided.

What Can Be Done if a Parent Refuses to Pay Child Support?

In a lot of cases the parent who has been told to pay child support they may refuse. This could be because they feel the order if unfair or because they just don’t feel like they can afford to pay. When a parent refuses to pay child support it can cause a lot of problems for the parent who is relying on this money.

If a parent refuses to pay child support there can be a number of options. The first action that most parents will take is to document the non-payment; this is down by informing the court where the child custody order was issued. It is then up to the court to work with both parents to reach an amicable solution. In some instances the parent who is refusing to pay child support may be found in contempt of court and legal proceedings may commence to get the money back. The court can take a number of measures to get the money back including taking it directly from a parents wages. In some cases the deadbeat parent can be put in jail.

Dealing with the problem of a parent who refuses to pay child support through the courts can be slow. The process is generally free, but it can take a long time before the parent caring for the child sees any money. This is why some parents will turn to a private agency in order to hurry things along. This type of service will usually cost a bit of money but it may well be worth it if it means that child support is obtained.

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Meet the Author

Anthony Carter currently resides in Fife, Scotland with his wife Lisa, and their three wonderful children. As a senior editor for various publications, if he's not reading and writing, you would find him photographing and traveling to some of the most far-flung locations around the world.

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