When your ex stops paying child support for an unexcused reason, it puts you and your child in an unfair financial situation. Thankfully, the Rhode Island Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) allows you to enforce your child support order through a variety of methods. In fact, the OCSS has the authority to begin taking child support enforcement steps automatically when a child support payment becomes delinquent.
To understand your rights as someone paying or receiving child support in Rhode Island, call Moyer Law, PC. Our child support enforcement attorney can assess your situation and advise you accordingly. Call us at (401) 305-2934 to discuss the court order enforcement methods available in Rhode Island.
The Office of Child Support Services has more than a dozen ways to enforce child support in Rhode Island, including:
- Administrative offset: When at least $25 is owed in child support, administrative funds collected by the payer can be reduced and redirected to the payee. If your ex-spouse collects retirement benefits through a federal account, for example, the appropriate amount of child support funds could be taken from that account and sent to you.
- Federal tax refund offset: When at least $150 is owed, the OCSS may decide to interfere with the payer’s federal tax refund, assuming one is owed to them. The amount of child support they owe will be reduced from their tax refund, if possible, and redirected to the payee.
- Bank match and liens: When at least $500 is owed, the private bank records of the payer can be examined by the OCSS. Afterward, the OCSS may place a lien on that bank account until the amount owed is paid.
- Lottery intercept: When at least $500 is owed, any lottery winning of $600 or greater won by the payer can be intercepted by the OCSS. The winning will be redirected to the payer instead, up to the full amount of the prize.
- Passport denial: When at least $2,500 is owed, the OCSS may connect with the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs to inform them about the delinquent child support payments. The federal agency will then put the payer on a blacklist that bans them from obtaining or using their passport in most situations. Paying the owed amount will remove them from the blacklist.
- Insurance intercept: When at least $3,000 in child support payments are owed, the amount can be taken from any insurance payouts that would have gone to the payer. For example, if your ex-spouse owes you $3,000 in child support and would soon collect $10,000 in homeowners’ insurance coverage, they would be given $7,000 instead with the rest going to you.
- Criminal prosecution: When $10,000 or more are owed in delinquent child support payments, it could constitute criminal charges filed against the payer. In Rhode Island, failing to pay such a large amount across three years while also being able to pay it can be considered a felony. A conviction can lead to up to five years in prison.
Someone who is delinquent on child support payments for at least 90 days may also have their licenses revoked until payment is made. Licenses that can be revoked in this way include both driver’s licenses and professional licenses. That is to say, if the other parent of your child has willfully not paid your child support for three months, it could affect their career by having their license to practice revoked by the state.
Interest on Owed Child Support
Rhode Island allows interest to accrue on owed child support. The current amount is set at 1% per month on whatever amount is unpaid. When someone is ordered to pay delinquent child support payments, the amount will be equal to the original amount owed plus whatever has been accrued in interest.
Call Moyer Law, PC to Get Started on Your Case
Our Rhode Island enforcement lawyer can help you if you need to ensure your child support order is enforced appropriately. As mentioned, the Rhode Island Office of Child Support Services is supposed to automatically use enforcement measures as needed, but this is often not the case. Incomplete or inaccurate reports to the OCSS may be misleading, causing the Office to not use any or the right enforcement measures.
To be confident that your child support will be paid and enforced to the extent of the law, team up with our law firm. We can coordinate with both the OCSS and the family law court that originally issued your child support order to make certain you and your child are getting the financial aid you need and deserve.
Request a consultation to begin. Just dial (401) 305-2934 at any time.
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