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How Can I Enforce a Child Support Order in Kentucky?

Woman and her baby

Raising a child after you split up from your co-parent is always a challenge. If you’re the primary custodian, this task can become even more challenging when your child’s other parent stops paying child support, leaving you scrambling to make ends meet. If your polite requests for your ex’s compliance with existing child support orders have failed, the state of Kentucky offers other means to obtain the support you’re owed to raise your child. Speak with a skilled Louisville family law attorney for help in obtaining compliance with child support orders.

What can the courts do?

If your co-parent has refused to willingly pay child support, the courts offer a number of ways to obtain payment either through directly withdrawing funds you’re owed or coercing compliance through other means.

  • Wage Withholding Orders: The state can work with your ex’s employer to take child support directly from their paycheck, or take bonuses or lump sum earnings directly to compensate you for child support owed in arrears.
  • Civil Contempt: you or your Louisville Family Law attorney can request that the Court hold your ex in contempt for failing to abide by a child support order and ask the Court to sanction your ex such as making him or her pay any attorney’s fees and costs that you incurred in having to make such a request. 
  • Place liens on property: The state can place a lien on property, which makes it impossible to sell or transfer high-value items such as houses, land, or vehicles until your co-parent is caught up on child support payments.
  • Intercept funds: The state can take money owed in child support from unemployment checks, Social Security benefits, lottery winnings, income tax returns, or Workers’ Compensation benefits, and can take funds directly from your ex’s checking or savings accounts.
  • Limit work and travel: The state can suspend your co-parent’s personal or commercial driver’s license, sporting license, or professional license or certificate until all child support due is paid. Additionally, if any parent is $2,500 or more behind on child support, that parent can be denied a passport by the U.S. Department of State.
  • File criminal charges: Since the court issues child support orders, violation of these orders can eventually result in criminal charges being filed, findings of contempt, and even jail time.

Who can help?

The State of Kentucky’s Child Support Enforcement (CSE) department performs a number of roles in the arena of child support collection and enforcement. This office can use all the tools described above to get you the child support you’ve been awarded, but due to the demand placed on the CSE, they can’t always handle your case quickly. A Kentucky family law attorney can respond more quickly, and can also request that the court garnish wages, intercept funds, or suspend licenses. A family law attorney may even be able to help you resolve the issue outside of the courtroom.

If you are facing a divorce, custody dispute, or other issue before the Kentucky family court, seek out compassionate and experienced legal help by contacting the Louisville divorce and child custody attorneys at John Ruby & Associates for a consultation, at 502-895-2626.