Fremont Family Lawyer Discusses Enforcing Child Support by Collecting Directly From Wages
One of the most common mechanisms for enforcing child support in California is the earnings assignment order, or as it is more commonly known, a wage assignment. This ensures that child support (or spousal support) is subtracted from an employee’s wages. It is then sent to the custodial parent, usually via the State Disbursement Unit.
California Family Code Section 5320 requires child support to be paid via wage assignment. The wage assignment is binding on all employers, and is enforceable even where the employer information is outdated or incorrect. See California Family Code Section 5231. Employers who do not comply with a wage assignment are subject to being brought into court and possibly found to be in contempt.
What do you do if the non-custodial parent’s employer refuses to comply with the wage assignment? First, you must make the employer a party to the case, by filing a joinder. The next step is to file a motion with the Court to have the employer be ordered to comply with the wage assignment. Finally, the Court can find an employer in contempt for not honoring a valid wage assignment, meaning the employer will likely pay a fine for non-compliance.
What do you do if the non-custodial parent is self-employed or earns a cash income? Other means of collecting child support include garnishing or intercepting tax refunds, placing a lien on bank accounts. Punishment for non-payment can include suspension of a driver’s or professional license, contempt of court, and revocation of a passport.
Remember, child support is mandatory. This includes people who are getting divorced, parents involved in a paternity action, and parents who never lived together. Furthermore, payment of child support (or non-payment of it) does not impact visitation. The only relationship between visitation and support is how the timeshare impacts the guideline support number.
If you are having trouble collecting child support, you need to speak to an attorney. Our experienced family law attorneys handle all types of child support cases, including those incident to a divorce or paternity action, as well as those involving the Department of Child Support Services. We have five offices throughout the Greater Bay Area, including Redwood City, Fremont, San Jose, Monterey and Salinas. We offer a free consultation, either over the phone, or in person. Contact our office today to arrange for your free thirty minute consultation at 408.279.2288 or www.sagarialaw.com.