Collecting child support can be a complex and emotional situation. There are various ways in which these court orders can be enforced:
Liens: An Abstract of Support Judgment is registered when a court imposes a child support order. If the obligor owns property in the county where the Abstract is registered, it serves as a lien in that county. After the Abstract is recorded, the obligee has a legal right to the obligor's property in order to recover child support arrears.
Intercepts: Funds available to the obligor (non-paying parent) may be intercepted and used to pay past-due child support to the obligee (owed parent). In San Diego family court, past-due child support is referred to as arrears. State and federal income tax refunds, state disability insurance, unemployment benefits, social security payments, worker's compensation awards, and California State Lottery winnings are all examples of these funds.
Passport: Arrears of child support are reported to the US State Department in addition to major credit-reporting agencies. In order to encourage the obligor to pay his or her child support obligations, the United States State Department can refuse the obligor's passport application or renewal.
Credit Report: Failure to pay child support may have a negative impact on the obligor's credit report. The Department of Child Support Services will notify major credit-reporting agencies of the obligor's inability to pay as a deterrence.
License: Failure to pay back child support can result in the obligor's license being revoked. Professional, driver, and recreational licenses can all be revoked until child support has been paid.
Contempt: Since the obligor has a legal obligation to pay child support, failure to do so may result in contempt if the court finds that the obligor has the capacity to pay and refuses to do so.
Bankruptcy: In the event of bankruptcy, past-due child support is a non-dischargeable liability. As a result, if the obligor declares bankruptcy, he or she will be unable to rid their child support obligation.