As a parent, you’re legally obliged to support your children, irrespective of whether you’re married or not.

Of course, things can get complicated if you’re separated or divorced, especially if you and your ex have become estranged. Raising children isn’t easy, so you owe it to yourself and to your children to know your rights and make sure that your ex fulfils his or her end of the bargain.

Here’s how to do this.

Are You the Custodial or the Non-custodial Parent?

If you’re the primary caregiver with custody, you’re the custodial parent. You’re still responsible for paying child support. However because you’re already spending money on and sharing many of your other assets with your children, you won’t be ordered to make actual payments.

Your position will be different if you spend less than half the time with your children and do not have full custody. As a non-custodial parent, you’ll be ordered to pay child support. Child support payments are calculated as a percentage of your adjusted gross income in accordance with state guidelines.

What if My Ex Doesn’t Pay Child Support?

Making sure your ex’s duty to pay child support is recognized is an important step. But what if regular payments aren’t forthcoming?

There are many ways you can ensure that your ex pays child support regularly. The easiest is to ask for income withholding.

This is exactly what the name suggests: your ex’s employer will withhold the child support due from your ex’s paycheck. If your ex is unemployed, the alternative is to ask for unemployment intercept. This is similar to income withholding, except that the child support due will be withheld from your ex’s unemployment benefits.

You may be able to obtain assistance from the state’s child support enforcement unit.

What Are the Legal Consequences of Missing Child Support Payments?

Collecting child support might sound like a whole lot of trouble, and you may be tempted to let it go. But your ex is responsible for your children’s well-being, even if he or she never sees them. Missing child support payments can also have serious repercussions, including jail time.

Are you having trouble collecting child support payments? Contact Bosserman Law at 662-890-9958 to schedule a consultation.