Imagine you hire a gig harbor child support attorney and go through a tedious process of child support settlement, and then your ex-spouse stops paying the child support amount. It can be frustrating to go back to court and deal with legal matters all over again. However, if your ex is not fulfilling their duties, you must hold them accountable.
If you have legally binded child support orders, that is, one signed by a court judge, you are legally entitled to receive an amount every month to meet the needs of your child. If your spouse is not paying their dues, you can take strict legal action against them and they may face severe consequences.
Steps to take if your ex-spouse is not paying child support
Review your child support order.
The first step is to make sure you have a case. To do that, you need to check whether you have a legally binded child support order. A child support order is only valid if it gets signed by a court judge. If your child support does not have the judge’s sign, you are not entitled to receive any payments.
The second step is to gather evidence of their non-payment. If your ex pays you child support through bank transfer, it can be easy to prove that they have not paid for a certain amount of time. If they pay by a check or money order, you can show proof that no money has been deposited in your account in the past few months.
If you are unable to gather evidence, a gig harbor child support attorney can investigate your case and gather all the essential evidence.
Motion for Enforcement
After you make sure you have a valid child support order and gather all the evidence, it is time to file a legal complaint. A Motion for Enforcement is filed when a spouse fails to comply by the rules of the court. This is the nicest form of legal action as it does not inflict any kind of penalties on the spouse. It only nudges them to comply with the rules and pay the amount on time.
Motion for Contempt
Motion for Contempt is a more serious and stricter legal action. By filing a Motion for Contempt, you are not only asking the court to make your ex pay the child support, but to also hold them in contempt of court. Motion for Contempt could involve heavy penalties, such as substantial fines, jail time, repayment of attorney and court fees, and other financial relief as permitted by law.
You can hire an attorney to discuss which option would suit your situation better. If you believe your ex has genuinely forgotten to make the payment and you do not wish to speak to them, you can file for a Motion for Enforcement. If they continue with the non-payment, you could take the next step.