Your bills are due, your kids need new clothes and shoes, and you need to go and get groceries, but your child support check is nowhere to be seen. If this scenario sounds like your life, then you’re certainly not alone. Billions of dollars of child support go unpaid in the United States every year. If you’re struggling to get your ex to pay any child support or pay the full amount that is due, you’re not alone. Hundreds of thousands of other parents are in the same boat as you.
Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix that you can use to make your past-due child support check turn up, but the good news is that there are some steps that you can take if your child support checks have disappeared.
Speak to Your Ex:
Speaking to your ex about the situation might be difficult or even impossible if you’re in a situation where they are completely AWOL, they refuse to speak to you at all, or if they have been violent in the past. If that’s the case, skip this step. But if you are able to speak to your ex at all, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with them and find out why they are not paying support, especially if they have in the past and it has stopped. Maybe you will find out that they are going through a tough financial situation and be able to work something out that suits you both.
Have a Backup Plan:
The sad truth is that you simply can’t rely on your ex paying child support to make sure that your expenses are covered. Because of this, it’s important to have a backup plan in place so that you are financially secure, even if your ex is refusing to pay what is due. This might involve finding a second job to bring in more money, cutting back on some of your expenses to free up cash or asking a family member to help.
Speak to a Lawyer:
Regardless of whether or not you want to take your ex back to court, it’s a good idea to speak to a lawyer about the options that are available to you in this situation. A good family lawyer will be able to talk you through your rights and responsibilities and help you understand Minnesota child support enforcement, for example.
Speak to Your Local Child Support Agency:
Every state has a government child support agency that is responsible for collecting child support payments for you. Government agencies are ideal for parents who cannot currently afford to hire a lawyer as they will typically enforce child support orders free of charge. However, bear in mind that most local child support agencies take on lots of cases, so you may be waiting a while before they can get your child support checks paid to you.
There’s nothing more frustrating than dealing with stopped child support checks as a single parent. If your ex has stopped paying child support, follow the above steps to come to a solution that works for everybody.