Collecting Child Support

Need help collecting child support payments?

Unfortunately, obtaining court-ordered child support is not always the end of the battle.  Sometimes, enforcement actions must be taken to actually collect the child support payments.  There are several methods available for custodial parents who need assistance collecting child support payments. 

One of the quickest and most successful enforcement remedies is income withholding.  A petition can be filed asking the court to direct the employer of the non-custodial parent to deduct the child support payments from his/her wages.  There are other methods of collecting, as well as other consequences for non-payment.

Liens on property and other assets.

A system known as the Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM) can be used to identify bank accounts belonging to the non-custodial parent who is delinquent in their child support payments.  The accounts that are identified can then be subject to liens and levies in order to collect back child support. A lien is a legal hold on property until the debt is paid. A lien can also be placed on real estate or personal property such as vehicles, bank accounts, insurance settlements or lump sum payments.

Tax consequences for non-payment of child support.

If a parent owes back child support of at least $150.00, the state can report that parent to the IRS and the Alabama Department of Revenue.  The back support is then deducted from that parent’s federal or state tax refund and paid to the family.  There is a $10 certification fee deducted from any money collected.

Other consequences for failing to pay child support.

Also, back child support greater than $1000.00 are automatically submitted to credit reporting agencies.  That debt will remain on file with the credit reporting agencies for seven (7) years.  If the back child support amount is more than $2500, the spouse may become be denied a passport.  Suspension or revocation of driver’s licenses, professional, sporting or recreational licenses is also possible.

If you have further questions, call our office at (205) 988-5570. 


One thought on “Collecting Child Support

  1. Christopher L Arrington Reply

    If Alabama is like Indiana, the state’s child support office is the only one that can seize a tax refund, the party cannot request the court to issue such an order. This creates unnecessary delay and needless hurdle for someone to obtain back support from a tax refund.

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