Collecting Child Support from a Self-Employed Parent

Written by Jonathan Breeden

February 19, 2020

Custodial parents in North Carolina have the right to receive child support. This ensures both parents are financially supporting the child, and the burden does not fall entirely on one parent’s shoulders.

However, child support is not always straightforward.

If your child’s other parent is self-employed, you can run into several obstacles. This includes having a difficult time knowing the other parent’s true income and collecting the full amount. For instance, when a mother or father is a freelancer or runs their own business, it is easy to hide income and hard to garnish their wages.

Despite this, you have the right to collect support from a self-employed parent. And there are methods to do so. To learn more, contact a North Carolina child support lawyer at Breeden Law Office right away.

With over 15 years experience and offices in Raleigh, Garner, Angier, and Smithfield, attorney Breeden can help. Call (919) 205-5254 today or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Calculating a Self-Employed Parent’s Child Support

The first step to collecting child support from a self-employed parent is getting an accurate accounting of their income. This can be difficult since he or she may receive income from several sources. In addition, how much they make could vary drastically. However, they likely keep track of how much they make.

Once the court knows how much the other parent makes, minus their ordinary expenses, it has the necessary amount to calculate child support.

The other parent must provide their income to the court. However, if the other parent refuses or you believe their information is inaccurate or incomplete, we can take steps to access the other parent’s tax return and bank account information.

Enforcing Child Support Orders From the Self-Employed

Very often, it is not the child support calculation that is the most difficult issue with a self-employed parent. Instead, the bigger problem is receiving the support you are entitled to.

When a parent is not receiving child support, wage garnishment is usually the first enforcement option. However, a self-employed parent does not necessarily have a steady paycheck to garnish.

Child Support Enforcement Options

If withholding income from their employer is not possible, then you can work with North Carolina Child Support Enforcement or return to court to pursue other options.

There re several options to obtain child support or pressure the other parent into paying:

  • Seek child support payments directly from the other parent’s personal or business bank accounts.
  • Petition to seize their tax refunds.
  • Put a lien against their bank accounts, assets, or payments from their clients.

If these steps are not enough, and your child’s other parent becomes months behind, you can seek to have their driver’s license and professional credential revoked. This is a serious career limitation for doctors, nurses, lawyers, barbers, plumbers, electricians, and other licensed professionals.

Ultimately, if the other parent continues not to pay support, a judge can order them to be arrested and jailed for contempt. Your child’s other parent may be held in jail until the child support debt gets paid.

Let Our North Carolina Child Support Lawyers Help

Many self-employed parents are happy to work with the court or North Carolina Child Support Services to calculate and pay child support. However, others use their employment situation to their advantage, trying to make it seem like they do not make much money or intentionally not sending payments.

If you are dealing with a self-employed parent who refused to pay court-ordered support, contact Breeden Law Office at (919) 205-5254 right away.


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