When a pair of Mississippi parents divorce, they must resolve issues regarding their children’s financial needs. Such issues include the children’s immediate future needs. In most cases, the court orders one parent (often the noncustodial parent) to pay child support.
The fact that a judge orders child support as part of a divorce settlement, however, does not guarantee that the parent in question will make payments on time, or at all. If the latter occurs or if payments were being made but then become delinquent, the court can take certain actions to enforce its orders. When parents sign a child custody or child support agreement, they are obligated to adhere to the terms, unless and until the court modifies (changes) the order. Even if both parents want to change their agreement, they must seek and obtain the court’s approval before doing so.
The paying parent’s wages may be garnished
If a parent is delinquent in making child support payments, the court may order his or her wages to be garnished. In such a case, a specific amount of money would be withheld from the parent’s paycheck. Garnishment of a tax refund is another means of collecting back payments for child support. Mississippi has an official child support enforcement department that enforces court orders in these ways.
The court may hold a parent in contempt
A parent who is not making child support payments when ordered by the court to do so, may be held in contempt of court. Additional repercussions may include suspension of a driver’s license or revocation of a U.S. passport. Disregarding a court order to pay child support is a serious matter. A concerned parent who is struggling with this issue from a former spouse may seek guidance from a family law attorney as to what might be the best course of action to resolve the issue.