When parents live apart, the custodial parent usually receives child support from the parent who does not provide the child’s primary home. When a parent does not receive the agreed-upon support on time, the child might suffer.
If you are a custodial parent who is not receiving support as agreed or a parent who has fallen behind on support and facing enforcement action, you need a seasoned child support attorney fighting for you. A Manhattan child support enforcement lawyer could get to know you, understand your situation, and devise a strategy to meet your needs.
Child Support Calculation in Kansas
The amount of child support a parent must pay depends on the parents’ relative incomes, how many children each parent supports, how much time each parent spends with the child, and various other factors. States use a formula to calculate child support, though parents may be permitted to adjust the formula in certain cases.
The child support calculation usually occurs when the parents separate, and a lot can happen over time. Having another child, getting a promotion or losing a job, experiencing a windfall or a financial disaster could all impact a parent’s need for or ability to pay child support.
Parents experiencing a change in circumstances often can negotiate a change to their child support agreement. A dedicated Manhattan attorney could help a couple negotiate a revision to their agreement and present it to the court for approval. However, sometimes a parent might fall behind, stop paying entirely, or be unwilling to negotiate. In such instances, the receiving parent might need to take affirmative steps to enforce their child support agreement.
How the State Collects Delinquent Child Support
Kansas Statutes Annotated §23-3004 requires divorce decrees to direct a parent to pay child support to the Kansas Payment Center, which then ensures the payment reaches the receiving parent. When the paying parent is more than 30 days late with a child support payment, they are in arrears. Any balance on child support that is more than 30 days old is an arrearage. A parent is in arrears even if they made a partial payment.
Kansas Child Support Services (CSS) can take administrative action against a parent in arrears without going to court. The remedies at their disposal include suspending the parent’s driver’s license or recreational license, liens against their property, and intercepting their tax refunds. If the parent is more than $2,500 in arrears, federal law allows CSS to request the US State Department to suspend the parent’s passport.
When the receiving parent requires child support to meet their family’s basic needs, waiting for CSS to act and for the action to bear fruit might not be a viable option. A parent has the right to initiate a court action to enforce the child support order. An experienced Manhattan attorney could prepare a court filing for a parent seeking to enforce a child support order.
Court Enforcement of Child Support Orders
A parent could take their co-parent to court if they are not receiving child support as agreed. A judge will review the circumstances and the delinquent parent’s excuse for not paying. If the parent in arrears can show that a significant change in their circumstances makes it impossible for them to comply with the original order, a judge could modify it. However, a judge will not modify a child support order if doing so is not in the children’s best interests.
If the parent cannot show valid reasons for being in arrears, the judge often gives them a short window to bring their payments up to date. If the parent is uncooperative, has been in significant arrears before, or has failed to comply with a court directive to bring their support payments current, the judge could find the parent guilty of contempt of court. A parent in contempt could face fines and jail time and might even have to pay the other parent’s attorney’s fees.
A committed child support enforcement lawyer in Manhattan could offer advocacy and support to a parent, regardless of whether they are seeking delinquent support or unable to pay their child support as agreed. Skilled legal counsel could help the parties resolve their dispute in a way that works for both parties and supports the children’s best interests.
Work With a Manhattan Child Support Enforcement Attorney
When child support becomes an issue, you should act fast. Once a parent falls behind on their child support obligations, CSS and the courts have the authority to take measures to get your children the money they are owed.
Although negotiating a solution is always preferable, it is not always possible. If you need to go to court to enforce a child support order, or if your co-parent has brought a motion to enforce, seek the services of a Manhattan child support enforcement lawyer. With their assistance, you could achieve a workable result that protects your children. Call today to get started.