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Child support enforcement and nonpayment penalties

Raising a child can be extremely expensive. Paying for the mere basics, including food and clothing, can make a massive dent in parents' finances, especially considering these expenses will need to be paid for at least 18 years. And this doesn't even consider other costs, such as schooling expenses, extracurricular expenses, and medical costs. Children are worth it, but that doesn't make the financial realities of raising them any easier, especially when one parent is a child's primary caregiver. This is why child support is so important for both custodial and noncustodial parents.

In an ideal world, child support obligations would be fair and would be paid on time. Yet, the world is far from perfect, and many individuals may find themselves either struggling to recoup owed child support or to make their support obligations. Those who may be seeking to recoup the child support they are owed may be able to turn to the State of Rhode Island for help.

There are many child support enforcement options at one's disposal. By going through the State, an individual may be able to capture an owing parent's federal tax refund, insurance proceeds, and other income streams. Those who fail to pay their child support may also be subjected to passport denial, liens, and even jail. In other words, custodial parents may have a whole host of ways in which they can recover the money they need to help raise their child.

Noncustodial parents, though, may have a good reason for not being able to pay their child support obligation. To avoid the penalties mentioned above, these individuals should consider whether seeking a child support modification is in their best interests. Successfully seeking a modification could result in a reduced obligation that can ensure a noncustodial parent's financial stability, while avoiding penalties for non-payment or delinquent payments.

Regardless of which side of the child support issue a Rhode Islander falls on, he or she may find the matter quite contentious. To ensure that their side of the situation is heard and carefully considered by a judge, such an individual may wish to seek out the assistance of an attorney who is adept at handling family law issues like child support.

Source: Rhode Island Office of Child Support Services, "Enforcement," accessed on Feb. 27, 2017

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