When you and your spouse decide to have a child, you do not expect to have to take care of that child alone. You expect your child’s other parent to do his or her part in raising that child, not only physically, but financially, as well. When this does not happen, you, as the custodial parent, may decide to seek child support from the non-custodial parent. However, what happens when the other parent fails to pay child support? Can you seek back child support? If you or a loved one is seeking information about unpaid child support, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Birmingham family law attorney to strategize about the best possible outcomes for your situation.
Back Child Support
Child support is typically awarded to any custodial parent to provide financial assistance for a child’s needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. This support is given until the child reaches the age of 18. Child support is granted by courts, though sometimes the non-custodial parent does not pay child support at all or falls behind in his or her support obligation. When this occurs, a custodial parent has the right to petition the court for any unpaid or back child support, also known as arrears.
To get this process started, the custodial parent files a petition seeking back child support in the court that initially entered the Order for Child Support. If the judge grants the petition, you must submit your enforcement order along with the original support order to the Department of Human Resources. Upon the happening of this event, the non-custodial parent is “encouraged” to pay back child support by Alabama imposing a number of sanctions upon him or her. These sanctions can consist of:
- Withholding income;
- Suspending licenses;
- Charging interest on the past due amount
- Putting liens on property.
It is important to note that though child support obligations terminate upon the child’s 19th birthday, back owed child support is still enforceable upon the non-custodial parent up to 20 years from the date of the original Order for Child Support.
Need Legal Advice?
You should not have to take care of your child alone. There are obligations for both parents when they have a child and one of those obligations is taking care of children financially. If you have taken out child support on a non-custodial parent and have not received that support, you have a right to receive back child support. If you or a loved one is seeking more information about back child support, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced family law attorney at Massey, Stotser, & Nichols, PC to help you with your case. Contact our office today.