- by Mary Stearns-Montgomery
- in Divorce
Many single parents may be surprised to find out that while the courts issued a child support order, it doesn’t always translate into receiving full payments on time. So what is a single parent supposed to do when they are not receiving child support payments from their “deadbeat” ex? Here are a few tips to help you get through this tough situation.
Ways to Handle a Deadbeat Spouse
- Do not treat the situation lightly: If you treat child support payments seriously, and as business transaction it will encourage the other parent treat the situation seriously as well. This is money you are legally owed and is important for you and your child’s future.
- Keep records: It is best to keep records of every payment made to you and how much was made. It’s also important to give the other parent a receipt for every payment made. If you should have to go back to court to claim payments you have backed yourself with a paper trail of records.
- Do not withhold visitation rights: If the other parent is not sending child support payments on time, do not try to withhold their visitation rights with the child. This is only going to get you in legal trouble. Withholding visitation can only be done if advised to you by a lawyer or judge.
The family law attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor are used to this scenario. Legally, a person would need to file a Motion for Contempt against the offending party to rectify the situation. Contempt is defined by Georgia Divorce, Alimony and Child Custody as “a ‘willful’ refusal to comply with a judgment or order of the court.” A person is in contempt if he or she does not met the terms set by the Judge in a divorce case.
Besides legal action, if you’re dealing with a deadbeat ex, it’s critical to focus on you and your children’s needs. If possible embrace activities that make it easier to be a “lone” parent. Find support within your own community by joining weekend sports teams, camps, or scout troops.