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A court can order child support, but how can they enforce payment?

Parenting is expensive, no matter how well you budget. Estranged parents often find child support necessary to adequately provide.

Financial requirements established by a court may consider each parent’s income, living arrangements, childcare and an existing parenting plan. Temporary financial difficulties occasionally make court-ordered child support problematic. However, there are typically serious repercussions for falling behind.

Potential penalties for withholding assistance

The Tennessee Department of Human Services implements the state’s child support program. Because not everyone complies with court orders, there exist legal methods of enforcement.

In the event your child’s other parent falls behind on their financial obligation, you may consider recovering support payments through:

  • Withheld income
  • Asset seizure
  • Intercepted tax refunds

Unfortunately, whether additional consequences encourage payment likely depends on a variety of circumstances. It’s important to recognize that the failure to pay may also result in more serious, potentially intangible, consequences such as:

  • Further legal action
  • Driver’s license revocation
  • Passport denial
  • Negative credit reports
  • Property liens

Professional licensure may also be at risk.

Change isn’t inevitable, but it may be possible

Child support is supposed to ensure that parents who live separately both take responsibility for providing for their children’s physical and developmental needs.

Many factors can influence an individual’s circumstances after orders go into effect. Therefore, significant changes could merit a modification. A court may agree to change the amount of support involved, as long as in doing so they’re still protecting the best interests of the children.