Are you owed child support payments? If so, you may have heard about child support arrears. But what is child support arrears?
Well, it’s a state that the responsible party falls into when they’re behind on child support. Continue reading to learn more about it.
What Is Child Support Arrears?
Once the judge orders child support, the responsible parent has to pay the full amount of child support payments ordered each month. Otherwise, they run the risk of falling into arrears. Child support arrears is often referred to as “back child support”.
It’s the sum difference between what the obligated parent has to pay and the amount that they’ve actually paid. Child support arrears can start adding up once the courts have issued a support order. In some states, arrears could accumulate interest of 10% or more at an annual rate.
Also, it doesn’t matter how large or small the child support arrears amount is. Courts don’t decipher between large or small amounts. Therefore, any amount of back child support that accumulates is grounds for the custodial parent to enforce a child support order.
How Are Child Support Payments Calculated?
Child support payments are determined based on the responsible parent’s net monthly income. Earnings such as rental income, unemployment insurance payments, salary, and commission all are calculated towards the net monthly income.
The courts take a percentage of the net monthly earnings starting at 20% for one child. In most cases, child support is set at 50% of the co-parent’s net monthly earnings.
Ways To Enforce Child Support
If the responsible parent is in child support arrears, there are several ways in which the payments can be collected. Here are just a few.
Under the law, child support orders include an instant income withholding, which usually falls under income assignment or wage garnishment. The state in which the obligated parent works deducts the child support from their paycheck and sends it to the local child support office. Sometimes the payment goes directly to the custodial parent.
If the responsible parent owns real estate or other possessions, like a car, then child support payments can be enforced by putting a lien on the property. However, each state differs in how they enforce child support liens.
In some states, only the child support agency can file it, but in others, the custodial parent can request a lien on the property.
Withholding Other Types of Income
A standard paycheck isn’t the only way that states can withdraw unpaid child support. They can also put out an order that withholds different types of earnings. Income that falls under military pay, workers’ compensation, pension benefits, commission, disability, and retirement are all subject to child support withdrawal.
If you need a child support attorney, consider Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton, P.C.
Hire a Child Support Lawyer
Hopefully this article answered your question of, “What is child support arrears?” If you are due child support payments, it’s best to hire an attorney that can help you.
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