Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Many parents have trouble collecting child support

When divorce terms are finalized, all the financial details for each side are clearly defined and agreed upon with the understanding that all sides will adhere to the agreement. Unfortunately, this is not always the case; many divorcing spouses owing child support and/or alimony fail to fully pay their debts to their ex-spouse. Although this violates the terms of the divorce, it's something many former spouses ultimately get away with.

Pittsburgh child support lawyers note that forcing a former spouse to continue paying child and spousal support can be difficult, and getting them to catch up on late payments can be even tougher. The costs involved with putting pressure on a spouse can also be a challenge to an ex-spouse living off a fixed income and without the income they are owed.

Fortunately, there are several things a support-receiving former spouse can do to try and recoup at least a portion of these lost payments. Some spouses are able to set up wage garnishment, which has the state automatically deduct money from an ex-spouse's paycheck and uses that money to account for the owed support payments. The state can also intercept certain chunks of money that pass through the government's hands, such as tax returns.

Other approaches include placing a lien on property, notifying the credit bureaus or prosecuting the ex-spouse for non-payment. Unfortunately, prosecution can be costly and difficult, especially for those with limited incomes, and it isn't always a viable option.

Source: Forbes "How Can a Divorcing Woman Get the Child Support, Alimony She is Owed?" Dec. 14, 2011

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