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Child & Spousal Support Enforcement FAQs

Here, we answer some of the most often asked questions about enforcing child support orders. However, the specific facts of your case may give rise to many exceptions and variables. More importantly, the the laws of your particular jurisdiction (state) may be different from California. Please make an appointment for a legal consultation with a qualified family law attorney in your jurisdiction before making any decisions regarding your support order.

Child support law may vary from state to state.

By Ronn Bisbee

Is it too late to collect past-due child or spousal support if my order is old?

What kind of enforcement tools will Bisbee Law Group use to collect my child support?

Is the non-custodial parent entitled to credit on a past-due support obligation for time periods of unemployment or incarceration?

Is a past-due child support dischargeable in bankruptcy?

Is it true that the non-custodial parent does not have to pay court-ordered child support if I do not comply with the visitation schedule?

Does past-due child support accrue interest?

The non-custodial parent is a beneficiary in a probate case (i.e., non-custodial’s parent died). Is it possible to file a child support lien in the probate case?

What if the non-custodial parent’s employer does not honor the wage assignment?

Is it possible to file a lien or establish a wage assignment on a non-custodial parent’s worker’s compensation claim and/or income?/p>

The non-custodial parent is currently involved in a law suit that may result in a monetary award. Is there any way to file a child support lien in the pending action?

Is it possible to establish a withholding order for past-due support on retirement income?

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Is it too late to collect past-due child or spousal support if my order is old?

No! In California, there is no statute of limitation for the collection of child or spousal support orders. Additionally, the equitable doctrine of laches has been barred by statute. Even if the obligor dies, the support debt is chargeable against his estate.

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What kind of enforcement tools will Bisbee Law Group use to collect my child support?

Depending on the facts of your case, Bisbee Law Group may place liens on real estate, garnish wages, levy bank accounts and other personal property, attach business assets, or even file an action for contempt, which often compels immediate payment when a respondent/obligor is faced with the possibility of spending time in jail.

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What kind of enforcement tools will the Law Office of Ronn Bisbee use to collect my child support?

Depending on the facts of your case, the Law Office of Ronn Bisbee may place liens on real estate, garnish wages, levy bank accounts and other personal property, attach business assets, or even file an action for contempt, which often compels immediate payment when a respondent/obligor is faced with the possibility of spending time in jail.

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Is the non-custodial parent entitled to credit on a past-due support obligation for time periods of unemployment or incarceration?

No. This is called a retroactive modification, which is prohibited by statute. If there is a significant change in circumstances since the last order was made, either party may file a motion requesting modification of the order, effective the filing date of the motion.

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Is a past-due child support dischargeable in bankruptcy?

No. Although at one time child support was dischargeable under federal bankruptcy law, it is no longer the case.

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Is it true that the non-custodial parent does not have to pay court-ordered child support if I do not comply with the visitation schedule?

No. Custody and visitation orders are separate and distinct from the monetary child support order. If a custodial parent fails to comply with a custody/visitation order, the non-custodial parent may not withhold monetary child support, but may seek relief from the court.

In some jurisdictions, courts have held that child support was owed even when the custodial parent intentionally concealed the children from the other parent.

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Does past-due child support accrue interest?

In California, past-due child support accrues at the rate of 10% per annum. Check your state law by clicking the “State Law” link on the sidebar menu to the right.

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The non-custodial parent is a beneficiary in a probate case (i.e., non-custodial’s parent died). Is it possible to file a child support lien in the probate case?

Yes. However, it is important to inform the Law Office of Ronn Bisbee as soon as possible so it can move quickly to place a lien on the defendant’s interest before the court makes orders to disburse monetary interests to beneficiaries in the case.

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What if the non-custodial parent’s employer does not honor the wage assignment?

It is against the law for an employer to disregard a wage assignment for current or past-due child support. A contempt action may be filed against an employer who fails to comply.

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Is it possible to file a lien or establish a wage assignment on a non-custodial parent’s worker’s compensation claim and/or income?

Yes. the Law Office of Ronn Bisbee can file a lien against a non-custodial parent’s interest in a permanent disability award and collect up to 25% of temporary disability benefits.

It is important to note that child support orders continue to accrue (even when the respondent/obligor is injured and unable to work) unless and until the order expires by operation of law or is modified or set aside.

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The non-custodial parent is currently involved in a law suit that may result in a monetary award. Is there any way to file a child support lien in the pending action?

Yes. the Law Office of Ronn Bisbee will utilize this enforcement tool where the defendant is suing an employer, getting a personal injury settlement, or an equalization payment in a dissolution action from the “new” spouse.

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Is it possible to establish a withholding order for past-due support on retirement income?

Yes. the Law Office of Ronn Bisbee will prepare a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) and serve it on the Plan Administrator, who must comply under federal law.

Serving Orange County, San Diego County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County, and Ventura County. We enforce California child support orders and spousal support orders anywhere in California, and in many cases, nationwide, under the the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA).