Here's what you should know about missing child support

Child support is an important part of your child's life, because it's there to guarantee that he or she has the support of two parents' incomes. During the holidays, this support is particularly important. Your child might have special events at school or need clothing for cooler weather. He or she may want to go on a school trip or need an outfit for an extracurricular activity.

Child support is there for a variety of purposes, and for single-parent families, that support helps guarantee a child a home, food and medical care. If you haven't received child support in the last several months, there are a few things to know.

First, if the noncustodial parent falls behind on child support payments or refuses to pay, then he or she will be subject to enforcement measures. These measures help collect any child support due presently as well as child support that was due in the past. Several things can happen. For instance, a lien could be placed against the individual's property or assets. The noncustodial parent could go to jail for failing to pay as well. Federal income taxes could be intercepted to help pay down past-due support, or employers may be required to deduct the child support from your child's other parent's paycheck.

What happens if the noncustodial parent moves away?

It doesn't matter where the parent lives or how often he or she sees your child. If the court-ordered support isn't paid, he or she faces penalties for failing to do so.

What happens if the other parent seeks a modification?

In some cases, changes in life do result in a need for a modification. If the court agrees, the support changes to cost the parent more, or less, depending on the circumstances.

If you haven't received child support in months, speak up. It's your child's right to have any support ordered by the court.

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