You’ve received a judgment that the other parent is supposed to make child support payments to you. What’s next?
Receiving Child Support Payments
After you have received a child support court order, the other parent is legally required to start making child support payments to you. The court order you receive will include the start date for the child support payments. The payments will be paid monthly, and will be taken out of the other parent’s paycheck.
Wage Assignment and Garnishment
Every child support case where child support is awarded, the court will order a wage assignment or wage garnishment be issued and served. This wage assignment requires that the other parent’s employer takes the support payments out of the other parent’s wage.
Local Child Support Agencies
If the local child support agency (LCSA) is not involved in the child support case, both parents are allowed to agree that the child support payments be made in other ways, rather than a wage assignment. This means the wage assignment is “stayed,” or put on hold. Parents are then responsible for working out how the child support payments will be made. But if a LCSA is involved, the LCSA must agree to having the wage assignment “stayed.” Typically, if a LCSA is involved, the agency will keep the wage assignment in place.
Failing to Pay Child Support
There are serious consequences for not paying child support. You can be held in contempt of court if you have the ability to pay child support but do not make the payments. This can mean jail time. If you are unable to make child support payments due to loss of job, or gap in employment, you should contact a family law attorney, or the court to avoid jail time or fines.
Source: California Courts, Collecting a Child Support Order, 2014
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