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The Association of Divorce Financial Planners (ADFP) is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, 150 Fourth Avenue North, Suite 700, Nashville, TN, 37219-2417. Web site: www.nasbatools.com.

The Enforcement of Child Support

Child support payment is the one thing that is most often ignored post-divorce. Analysis of support has proven that the level of income does not influence the delinquency of payment. The resulting conclusion has shown that child support has become a power tool for the non-custodial parent. Quite often, this support delinquency is applied out of revenge or punishment directed to the custodial parent.

The custodial parent and his or her attorney should take precautionary measures to protect against the possibility of delinquency:

"Friend of the Court"
This organization is a publicly supported collection system which maintains vigilance over parents who are responsible for child support payments. (The custodial parent never needs to file a complaint of payment delinquency. The payment check is sent to the "Friend of the Court" first, and immediately distributed to the custodial parent. This has proven to be the most effective form of deterrence, as the court always has an accurate and up-to-date record of the entire support process.)

Automatic Wage Deduction
Under this method the non-custodial parent has the legally declared monthly support payment deducted from his or her paycheck and the amount is immediately sent to the custodial parent. (Typically, the parent will never miss what they actually never had, and the temptation to spend the money or refuse to make payment is eliminated. This has proven to be very effective for parents who have re-married or are cohabitating with someone new, because new spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends have been known to disrupt the payment process for their own selfish purposes.)

Wage Withholding System
If one or more support payments have been missed or are overdue this system will withhold the non-custodial parent's wages or other income. (The supporter is notified of this action, and can not be relieved of the penalty unless a formal written agreement stating an alternate arrangement exists or a reasonable explanation of delinquency is delivered.)

Bonds and Other Securities or Assets
Most states provide enforcement procedures that protect against delinquent payments by having the non-custodial parent post a bond or asset to secure payment when overdue.

The Modification of Child Support Arrangements
Child support may be modified at any time in which there has been a drastic change in circumstances.

In order to have a modification take place the party moving for modification must file an order with the court, showing evidence of the change in circumstances. Typically the evidence must be completely new to the court. Any issues addressed previously in the child support arrangements are not means for modification.

Here are some of the factors generally considered for modification:
  • The parent's income and earning capacities.
  • The assets that are available for support.
  • The employee benefits of each parent.
  • The income of a new spouse or cohabitant.
  • The new family responsibilities of each spouse.
  • The increase in the cost of living.
  • The change in cost of rearing the child.
  • The heath conditions of parents and child.
  • The modification of custody arrangement.

Return to the Child Support Page