How to enforce a child support order

When it comes to matters of child support, it's only natural to have a lot on your mind. For example, you may be the person who is set to receive child support. Or maybe you're on the other side of the equation and responsible for making a child support payment every month.

If both parties cooperate and do what is expected of them by the court, there is never a problem. However, there are times when one person doesn't pay as ordered.

If a child support order is in place and the individual does not pay as ordered by the court, enforcement action will be taken. As the person who is supposed to receive the money, you need to understand your rights for collecting payment.

In short, if the order is not being paid as required, the child support office will step in and take whatever legal action it can in order to collect past due and current payments. An example of this would be contacting the employer of the person to issue an income withholding order.

It's easy to give up if you're not receiving child support as required by the court, but this isn't a step you should take. Instead, you have the right to receive the money, including any past due payments, and you should fight for your rights.

Yes, it can be a challenge to enforce a child support order, but the court will work with you to make this happen. The best thing you can do is understand your rights and then take the necessary steps at the appropriate time.

Source: Tennessee Department of Human Services, "Tennessee Child Support Handbook," accessed Feb. 03, 2017

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