Ways to Collect Unpaid Child Support in Indiana
Contempt of Court HearingsOne of the most common ways to force people to pay back child support is by filing a "Rule to Show Cause". At its most basic level this petition simply states that the obligor was court ordered to pay a certain amount of child support every week and he has not done so. What you are doing by filing a Rule to Show Cause is asking the Court to consider whether or not the obligor is in Contempt of Court for violating the Court Order.
Like any court hearing, a judge will hear evidence presented by both sides to determine whether or not the obligor has violated the court order intentionally or willfully. If the court determines that to be the case, then the court can find the obligor in contempt. One of the potential punishments is that the obligor can be forced to serve a sentence of up to 180 days in jail (sometimes work release is an option as well)or to pay a purge amount. This purge amount is set by the court and cannot be higher than the total arrearage owed on the case.
Property LiensFor anyone that has a case in an Indiana Child Support Office, they may have had to deal with the issue of having a lien placed on a car title or a piece of real property that they own, if they owed back child support. This is a common tool used by prosecutors' offices throughout the State to collect back child support.
However, you do not have to have a case with a IV-D agency to be able to place a lien on property for back child support that is owed. There are ways that you can seek a judgment through the court system and then record that judgment against the obligor's interest in some form of real property.
Wage GarnishmentA standard practice in Indiana is to pay child support through income withholding. In fact, in Indiana there is a set of statutes that essentially require Income Withholding to be ordered in all child support cases.
Income Withholding is good for both the obligor and the obligee as it makes sure that regular child support payments are paid through the State Central Processing Unit. One thing to note on this particular issue is that Indiana has in place a statute that allows a Title IV-D agency to add an additional amount to be withheld to payback any child support arrears that may be owed. The additional amount will vary depending on the amount of arrearage that you have.
Tax SeizuresOne of the easiest ways for custodial parents to collect back child support is through an income tax seizure. If you are part of Title IV-D child support program, this will happen automatically if the non-custodial parent is in arrears by a certain amount (this amount can be different depending on whether or not any of your child support arrears are owed to the State for past public assistance - TANF).
Tax seizures can be delayed if the non-custodial parent is remarried, as this gives the new spouse a chance to file an innocent spouse claim.
Bank Account SeizuresLike tax seizures, this tool is used quite a bit by Title IV-D child support agencies to collect unpaid child support. In many cases, it doesn't matter whether you are currently paying or not, if you have an arrearage, the bank account can be seized to help satisfy this arrearage, with some exceptions.