After a challenging divorce that included months of dividing possessions and responsibilities, the last thing that you want to happen is to wind up in a situation where your ex isn’t paying their portion of the child support. Not only are child support cases extremely trying, emotionally difficult and often result in both parties compromising, but they become an even bigger mess when the opposing party doesn’t follow through.

At O’Brien & Wood Law, we do our absolute best to provide the families that come our way with the support that they need in any family law case that they bring to us. Today’s blog post is going to cover the steps that you should take if your ex isn’t paying their share of the child support.

Reach Out to Them

The first step that you can take is to contact your ex. This probably doesn’t sound like the answer that you’d like to hear, nor something that you’re extremely excited to do. This approach, however, will always be the first step that you have to take and is going to be something that they ask for in the instance that your court does wind up having to go to court.

As you approach this conversation, the goal should be to contact them and get an understanding of why they are unable to pay. If they were let go, are waiting for a paycheck to process or are struggling to pay for another reason, this one step should provide some sort of clarity. If you are able to get some form of response for why they’re unable to pay, then you can progress by setting up a plan of action. This can look something like them making up the difference on their next payment, or figuring out a way to at least make it until they are able to pay. In the case that they are simply choosing not to pay, then you will want to skip to step 2 and work towards some immediate action.

In the case that reaching out to your ex puts your life, or the life of your child, in harm’s way, then you can absolutely skip to the next step. In these instances, you most definitely need to put your best interest first.

Plan B

While we hope that reaching out to your ex is all that it will take to clarify the situation and get the payment that they owe you, we know that cases don’t always work out like that. The next step is to create a plan of action on how you’re going to make ends meet without their money.

Unfortunately, the fact that your ex isn’t paying their child support doesn’t mean that there won’t be times where you need that money. At this point, you need to determine how you’re going to make all of your ends meet even if they are unable to pay. Whether that be asking for a loan, talking to a family member or friend that’s able to give you a quick loan or you decide to pick up an additional job, you will still need to make enough money to get by. Another unfortunate aspect of child support is that payments that aren’t made or issues like your ex not paying can take some serious time to take care of. At the end of the day, when something like this happens, you need to find a solution to your financial issues.

Talk to Your Lawyer

Once you’ve completed the top two steps, the next thing that you’re going to want to do is contact your lawyer and figure out a time that you can sit down with them. This process will differ depending on what it is that you want to proceed with. By sitting down with your lawyer you can at least gain a better understanding of what your legal rights are and what types of options you have available.

When you sit down you’ll be exposed to options ranging from going back to court (which may or may not be a great idea based on what they owe you), getting full custody of your child, or other options that your lawyer can sit down and work through with you. In this process, you’ll want to realize that we are taking your best interest prioritized. From the money that it’ll cost for you to go through with the solution, to the difficulty of the process itself, we’ll make sure that we cover all angles of the solution with you.

Contact Local Child Support Agency

We promise we aren’t just going to feed you bad news. One of the positive aspects of this situation is that there are agencies that will take care of collecting your child support when it hasn’t been paid. There are government agencies in each state that are solely around for collecting child support when it isn’t paid.

Another great thing about this step is that these agencies won’t usually charge to take on a case, which is great news. The only downside is that these agencies are extremely busy and they may have a wait before they take any cases, which is why it’s crucial that you have a plan to make up that money before this part of the process comes around.

Contact Private Child Support Agency

Unfortunately, there are times where the amount of money that you are owed in child support has stacked up so high that you can’t even come to terms with finding a way to make up the amount of money that you need. In the cases where you need immediate assistance with your child support case, you can contact a private child support agency for fast, high-quality help.

These private collection companies are efficient and quick when finding methods to collect the money that you are owed for child support. Between their expertise and the private investigators that they involve in their cases, it’s pretty quick results that you’re getting, which, in the cases where you’re really desperate for your child support to come through, is nice.

These types of agencies will often require you to pay some sort of fee in order for the case to be worked on. You can expect this fee to be around ⅓ of the amount that they’re going to be collecting, but if they collect nothing after they’ve attempted to work on your case, you pay them nothing.

These types of situations are not ideal, but they do happen. When they happen you need to have a plan of action. This is something that we’ll be covering more and more of in our blog posts, so make sure that you keep up to date with them in the case that you’re in need of assistance from someone you know you can trust.

If you need assistance with getting the child support that you need, contact O’Brien and Wood Law and we’ll get you taken care of. Allow for a team of passionate and experienced individuals to provide you with the absolute best service and build up a case for you. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.