Collecting Child Support
Collecting child support and what avenues are available to custodial parents for collecting child support. A brief discussion on the pro's and con's of collection.
Child support is an emotionally charged issue. Those who get it are usually grateful, those who don't are frustrated, angry and upset. Choosing to go after the non-paying, non-custodial parent is a personal choice, and no matter what is said it is a choice.
You have basically two options when it comes to deciding to collect your child support. Most states have a child support enforcement office that will work with you to collect child support. If you collect welfare of any kind they will go after the support unless you can justify why they shouldn't (abuse, fear for safety, custody etc.) The problem is there are so many deadbeat parents (male and female) who don't pay thier support the offices are overwhelmed and work very slowly.
The other option is a private collection agency that will collect the child support for you for a fee, or a percentage of the collected amount. The hard part will be finding a reputable company that doesn't take all of the support you collect.
A couple of warnings are in order here. Make sure that you have no up front fees, they are able to operate nation-wide, and they have a good reputation. If you search 'child support collection' on the internet you will get a large listing, do some research before you agree to or sign any paperwork.
Should you try to collect or not? Think about your situation honestly. If the child support would be a major factor in providing for your child/children then go ahead and try to collect, but be aware it could take a year or more to locate and collect, and even then you may not get the whole amount. If the amount is small and it is a moral issue rather than a financial issue, consider the time and effort involved, and also the impact your collection could have upon the relationship your child/children have with the non-custodial parent.
Generally speaking, if the non-custodial has a good relationship with the children it will be easier to collect than if they have no visitation or contact with the child. You might also consider why they are not paying, if they don't have a job, or have a poor job, paying child support may tax their resources too much. If it is possible work out an agreement with them and then go back to court to have the child support payments adjusted. Remember though, many non-custodial parents don't pay because they don't feel that they have an obligation to help you out. Make sure they know it is for their child, not for you, that they are paying.
Patience, and hardwork can result in child support being collected. Only you can decide if it is worth the time and emotional energy needed. If you do decide to collect, then make sure you don't do anything to sabatoge the efforts of whoever is trying to collect for you. Good luck.