How do I collect unpaid child support?


How do I collect unpaid child support? How do I get an income deduction order? What is an income deduction order? What is a writ of bodily attachment? Can they take away my driver's license if I don't pay child support? Listen as Attorney Tom Olsen and Paul Newnum answer these questions and more!


Attorney Tom Olsen: Now Attorney Paul Newnum, you know we make offers on our radio show all the time that people can send us their legal questions easily. Easiest way to do this is through our website, like YouTube, but LawTube, there you can e-mail us your legal questions and so I answer five to ten e-mail legal questions every day, but realistically I forward a lot of them on to you because you’re our family law divorce attorney and we get a lot of e-mail questions from people.

Attorney Paul Newnum: From all over the state and actually from all over the country.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes. Most typical questions I’m sure has to do with unpaid child support. 

Attorney Paul Newnum: Not unusual to have somebody complaining about their spouse, their ex-spouse not paying the child support on time.

Attorney Tom Olsen: All right. So then tell us the typical -- if somebody were to call you and say, “Attorney Paul Newnum, deadbeat dad owes me thousands of dollars in child support.” And I’m going to use the dad; we know there are deadbeat moms out there as well.

Attorney Paul Newnum: That’s right.

Attorney Tom Olsen: I mean there are no easy solutions, but what would be your typical advice to somebody who has unpaid child support owed to them?

Attorney Paul Newnum: Well, it’s kind of a multi-step process. First, you bring a motion for contempt; you call that up for a hearing. The deadbeat dad or the deadbeat mom is found, held in contempt. The first time, not much happens in most cases. The second time, the judge may issue a writ of bodily attachment, which is a way of making that person a guest of the state until the child support is paid. Driver’s license can be suspended, which is the interim step. So it basically is a step-by-step process with the consequences increasing in severity each time.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes, and I know that the courts probably favor income deduction orders or the support is taken right from the husband’s paycheck. What’s the percentage of cases that are income deductions orders working for people?

Attorney Paul Newnum: The vast majority of cases have income deduction orders. It’s possible to do an income deduction order if the person is self-employed, but if the person is employed by a corporations, especially one of the large corporations, those human relations department see those orders all the time and they just plug them right in.

Attorney Tom Olsen: All right, works really well once they’re available to people.