Our daughter was born in 2001, she is now 16. Her bio father was court ordered to pay child support. It has now accumulated to over $60k. He lives out of state. I was never one to press for payment, but now he has been trying to contact our daughter and discuss child support with her instead of me. He has become increasingly verbally aggressive towards me, my daughter and other family members. I am now ready to take action. What steps do I take and where do I begin? I doubt he will ever be able to pay this, but I would like to know my options. Thank you for any advice!
Is the order for him to pay from an Oklahoma Court?
Did he leave the state to avoid paying child support?
Do you have an open child support enforcement case? If so, they should be able to seize any tax refund that he may have, and they will get the best information on where he may be working in order to keep an "income assignment" in place.
If Oklahoma is NOT where your support order was entered, talk with counsel to determine the best place to file a Contempt Citation and to also seek a restraining order to prevent him from (1) talking with your daughter about child support; and (2) threatening you.
You need counsel and should act quickly because you will only have the leverage of bringing an action for indirect contempt of court while your daughter is a minor.
Most attorneys will provide an initial consultation FREE and you may be eligible for an award of attorney fees as reimbursement if it is shown that he is willfully failing to pay his obligation.
If you have a court order for child support I would suggest you start by contacting the OKDHS Child Support Services office and see if there is an open case file on your child. If not, they have the paperwork on their website [www.okdhs.org] that you can complete to open a case file. Since the court order was issued several years ago, recent statutory changes have limited how far back you can collect for past due child support, depending on when the case file was opened.
Once Child Support Enforcement gets involved, they have access to IRS information regarding employment and can adjust his child support award accordingly. There are also policies and agreements in place that allow one state to collect child support through a wage garnishment on behalf of a child support order from another state. So the fact that he lives out of state should not present any major issues in enforcement once the process has begun.
The Child Support Enforcement paperwork is theoretically designed to be done without the assistance of an attorney. Their website has quite a bit of helpful information on the process and procedures to begin enforcement. However, if you feel more comfortable with an attorney, they can sometime smooth the process as well as speed the process along. Good Luck and please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information be provided. You should consult an attorney for more specific guidance related to your case.
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