Child support usually begins with an order from a state family court. This order may be granted during a temporary or final divorce proceeding, once paternity is established or after a request for support is made. If the parties cannot agree on the amount, the court will set one using the appropriate state guidelines.
Child support payments are due on set dates each month and may be withheld from the paying parent’s wages.
If child support is owed but not paid, there are a several options available to family court judges which may be used to collect past due amounts and prevent further non-payments. These may include the suspension of professional, business, driver and recreational licenses, payment of future owed sums in advance or placement of the non-paying parent in jail for contempt of court.