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Tennessee court collection methods for late child support payment

| Nov 20, 2015 | Child Support

As discussed in our last blog post, child support payments are very important for the health and well-being of the child. The court orders child support payments in situations where the custodial parent is in need of child support payments from the other parent in order to best financially support the child. This can be for many reasons, either need based, based upon the number of children etc. Any parent that is obligated to pay child support payments must to pay according to their divorce decree.

Where parents run into trouble is where a parent who is obligated to pay child support does not, or is late with their payments. As discussed in the last blog post, a receiving parent may decide to file an enforcement action. This allows the court to examine whether the parent was in fact supposed to be a recipient of these payments. Once this is proven the court can and will take action against the delinquent parent.

A few of these choice actions by the court may include any of these options. Firstly, income withholding or wage garnishment can occur. This takes the owed child support amount right out of that parent’s paycheck. Also, tax refunds originally intended for the delinquent parent can be redirected to cover the owed balance of child support payments. Liens and attachments can be tacked onto property owned by the parent and such property cannot be sold without crediting the child support payment to the owed parent with the proceeds.

Passport denial, jail time and license suspension are all possible penalties for delinquent child support payments. This means a civil matter could become a matter of criminal consequences. The court and the state do not wish to enforce these types of actions on anyone. It is everyone’s hope that a child who has been awarded child support payments receives them in a regular, complete and timely fashion. This will ensure the child has the best opportunities to grow and prosper.

Source:, “Child Support Enforcement Options,” Accessed Nov. 16, 2015


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