Child Support Contempt Proceedings

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When presiding over a child support case, the North Carolina family courts strive to keep the child’s best interests at the forefront of their decisions.

When a custodial parent requests that the noncustodial parent pay child support, the court will review the child’s needs and make a determination for support if it will help maintain the child’s quality of life. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to get a noncustodial parent to uphold this financial obligation.

If you are in a situation where you need to initiate child support contempt proceedings or if you are defending yourself in such a court hearing, you need an experienced North Carolina child support attorney on your side. Call attorney Jonathan Breeden today to find out how he can help you.

What if I am Behind in my Child Support Payments?

If your child’s other parent has failed to comply with their child support obligations, you have the right to collect what is due. Talking to an accomplished child support attorney about your options may give you an idea of what action you should take.

How Child Support is Collected

North Carolina’s Child Support Services (CSS) is the department authorized by the state to collect child support for anyone who enlists its services. CSS can set up a payment system wherein payments are sent to them to distribute to custodial parents. CSS will also seek payment from noncustodial parents who do not pay their child support.

Specifically, CSS can help with the following:

  • Establishing paternity: Confirming the identity of a child’s father allows the child to receive certain benefits, such as Social Security benefits, death benefits, and military benefits.
  • Setting up support orders: CSS has guidelines it follows to determine how much support a noncustodial parent will pay. The figure depends on the child’s needs as well as the parent’s financial ability to pay. The noncustodial parent can agree to pay the amount calculated, or the custodial parent can get a court order for payment.
  • Collecting payments and distributing them accordingly: CSS can collect support by receiving a check, garnishing employment wages, or withholding tax refunds.

Parent Refuses to Pay Child Support – Now What?

Enforcing a Support Order

CSS plays a vital role in enforcing child support orders. The CSS reviews instances of nonpayment and tracks down the funds. CSS may extract payment from a number of different methods:

  • Garnishing a paycheck: This method is very effective because the employer is ordered to deduct the payment and send it to CSS. Employers must adhere to support orders whether they are in-state or out-of-state.
  • Income withholding: CSS can obtain funds from income sources other than an employer, such as Social Security benefits, unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation, and veteran’s disability assistance.
  • Reporting nonpayment to credit bureaus
  • Filing a court action against a noncustodial parent
  • Filing a claim against the noncustodial parent’s real or personal property
  • Intercepting state or federal tax refunds

Consequences for Nonpayment

If CSS or the custodial parent brings court action against a noncustodial parent, they may be found in contempt of court for failing to obey the order. At the contempt hearing, the court may order the noncustodial parent to pay the support arrears and may also enforce any of the following penalties:

  • Suspension of a driver’s license or professional license
  • Court fines
  • Payment of the custodial parent’s attorney’s fees
  • Jail time

What is Contempt of Court?

See the statute for a full list of potential disciplinary actions.

What You Should Do To Recoup Missed Support Payments (And What You Should Not Do)

No parent likes to see their children suffer. If you have to witness your child’s quality of life diminish because their other parent is not paying child support, you will undoubtedly get angry. However, it’s important to remember that you should not retaliate by trying to withhold visitation rights or other parental rights your child’s other parent may have.

Instead, you should talk to a child support attorney about going to court and filing a contempt action against the noncustodial parent. You are unable to modify custody arrangements without first going to court. Trying to do so without the court’s involvement will likely result in repercussions for you.

Contact a North Carolina Child Support Attorney

If your child’s other parent has failed to comply with their child support obligations, you have the right to collect what is due. Talking to an accomplished child support attorney about your options may give you an idea of what action you should take.

Attorney Jonathan Breeden of Breeden Law Offices can offer both familiarity with local family courts and significant experience with various family law matters. Contact Breeden Law Offices today at for help getting your child support payments back on track.

Call Breeden Law Office today:

Call (919) 661-4970

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