How do I collect large sums of unpaid support?

How do I collect large sums of unpaid support?

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There are several remedies to collect unpaid child support and maintenance whether it is for a period of a few months or several years. Depending on the circumstances you have several options available to you and either filing contempt of court or reducing unpaid support payments to a consolidated support judgement may be options for you.

Each monthly support obligation becomes a judgment when due/owed and not paid each month. As the judgment is automatic by statute, you can file for the unpaid amounts to be consolidated and reduced into one consolidated support judgement. The owed party should file with the issuing court the order that includes the period support covered and the total unpaid balance. That support judgement may include interest and even attorney fees. A copy of the verified entry of support judgement must be provide to all parties (mother, father, family support registry, if applicable).

After filing the support judgement, you can then obtain a Transcript of the Judgement and then record it against real property, personal property, or a motor vehicle. Record a lien against real property with the clerk and recorder of the county where the obligor holds an interest in real property, with the secretary of state for personal property, or against a vehicle as public record and noted on the owner’s certificate of title for a motor vehicle. The lien has priority from the time filed over all unfiled liens and all subsequent filed or unfiled liens. The support judgement is paid when real property is sold, the unencumbered personal property is garnished, or the vehicle is sold.

A few limitations apply and you need to enforce your rights on any of your unpaid support within 20 years of each payment missed as there is a statute of limitations or the doctrine of laches and other equitable limitations. Your lien is in effect for the earlier of 12 years or until all amounts are paid. You can re-record the lien beyond the 12-year period if any part is unpaid and it is appropriate to do so