Connecticut Family
Law Attorneys

What if my spouse refuses to pay child support?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2022 | Child Support |

Your former spouse has broken the legal agreement to pay child support. Such action means taking away money from your child and you. This is the time to take prompt action with the support of state agencies and your attorney.

With these allies, you can pursue options that may ultimately get the non-paying spouse to fork over that money. Those options include seizing his or her tax returns and bank accounts as well as taking court actions that could lead to incarceration.

Seizing tax returns and bank accounts

In Connecticut, the state’s Support Enforcement Services (SES) works with state and federal agencies to assist parents in enforcing and modifying child support orders.

Relying on court and administrative actions, the SES works in tandem with the state child support program to collect child support. Here is a breakdown of what may happen:

  • Administrative actions: This may include the seizure of the non-paying parent’s federal and state tax returns and bank accounts.
  • Court actions: This may include filing contempt actions – which could lead to jail — and the withholding of income from the non-paying parent.
  • Pursuing a lien: The department’s Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) may place a lien against that parent’s property and report that child support debt to consumer credit reporting.

In some situations, the noncustodial parent may have changed jobs. In these court action situations, the SES will track down that new employer to promptly secure an income withholding order.

In extreme cases, judge may order jail

In addition, the SES will pursue and file a contempt application, marking the first step that will get the case before a judge. In the contempt process, the judge may order that the delinquent parent make lump sum payments to catch up. However, in extreme cases, the judge may order the non-paying parent to go to jail until the support is paid in full.