If you are like many single parents, you probably rely on your ex paying the child support that is owed to you so that you can take care of your children. Unfortunately, your ex may quit paying child support without any warning. Here’s what you can do if you are no longer receiving the child support that your ex is supposed to pay.

Check With Your Bank

In some instances, you may not be receiving child support because of a bank issue. This is why it’s a good idea to check to make sure that there isn’t an issue with your account. It may be something as simple as your ex making child support payments to the wrong account or the payment not going through due to a computer error.

Checking at the bank first can prevent unnecessary arguments between you and your ex. Dealing with an ex is often difficult emotionally, especially when children are involved. By keeping a cool head, you can help keep things between the two of you more amicable, which can ease future interactions. Even if there wasn’t a bank error, taking the time to check can ease tensions between you both.

Talk to the Other Parent

If you have a decent relationship with your ex, you should ask them why they aren’t paying child support anymore. They might have switched jobs, had an unexpected bill, or simply forgotten one month. You may not get the resolution that you were hoping for, but you might be able to get them to start paying it again just by talking to them and reminding them how much you need it for their child’s care. Knowing their reasoning can also help you decide what your next steps should be.

Contact a Family Lawyer

A lot of exes choose to not pay child support out of spite. When this happens, you need to get advice from a family lawyer. They can talk to you about what’s going on and advise you on what your next steps might be. Most family lawyers have dealt with this type of situation numerous times, and they can provide you with a lot of insight regarding your current situation. Sometimes, simply getting lawyers involved can convince your ex to pay their child support. In some situations, your lawyer may advise taking your ex to court over the delinquent payments.

Take Them to Court

Unfortunately, many exes won’t pay child support unless a court forces them to. You may have to take them to court if they refuse to pay it. If they still won’t pay it after you’ve taken them to court, your ex may end up having their driver’s license suspended, having to go to jail for a few days, having their bank account seized, or having their wages garnished.

Collect Back Child Support

If your child turns 18, and your ex still has unpaid child support that they owe you, you can still collect on it, though you may need the help of the law. Each state has a different statute of limitations on back child support. Usually, this is between five to 20 years, and it may be based on the date the child support should have been paid or on when your child reaches adulthood. You’ll need to check your state’s laws to figure out how long you have.

If your ex has stopped paying their child support, there are some things that you can do. It may be as simple as talking to them, or it may even require that you have to take them to court. The key is to deal with it right away and not let the missed payments keep piling up. Letting the problem continue will only hurt you and your child.

By Anita Ginsburg

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing.

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