What happens if your ex-spouse, or co-parent, is unable or unwilling to pay child support? The New Mexico Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) can help.
CSED Offers a Variety of Collection Assistance Services
If a non-custodial parent does not pay child support he or she may be subject to enforcement measures in accordance with federal and New Mexico state child support laws. However, it is important to note that CSED can help collect child support payments even when the paying parent is current on their obligation.
In other words, CSED is not just for collecting against so-called deadbeat parents; it can help hardworking, paying parents ensure that their child support payments are made on-time, directly to the receiving parent.
State and Federal Laws Apply to Child Support
Though enforcement is generally under state law, federal law can apply as in cases under the Federal Deadbeat Parent Punishment Act. In addition, federal law requires that the New Mexico Human Services Department provide services through CSED in order to ensure that the children of New Mexico are being financially supported by their parents.
CSED has hundreds of staff members who handle several thousand active cases. The CSED staff includes caseworkers and investigators who manage and research child support claims, as well as attorneys who pursue the establishment and enforcement of child support obligations.
The primary mission of CSED is to maximize the collection of child support for all New Mexico children, although CSED can also work in conjunction with child support enforcement offices in other states when a delinquent parent is living in New Mexico.
CSED Fees Dependent on Services and Income of Parents
The fees charged for enforcement of a child support order vary depending on the specific issues involved in each child support case, as well as the income of the parents. CSED may get involved in a case because a child is receiving state assistance or at the request of the parents.
CSED’s service range from establishment of initial child support orders to the enforcement of ongoing child support to the collection of unpaid child support.
CSED Has Many Tools for Collection of Child Support
CSED has many tools available to help collect child support payments. Perhaps the most common method used is wage withholding. An immediate wage withholding order is often issued when a child support order is entered, but must be updated if the amount of child support changes or if the paying parent changes jobs.
A wage withholding order tells the employer of a parent who is ordered to pay child support to take the child support payments directly out of the employee‘s paycheck and send the funds directly to CSED. Wage withholding can be a good thing for both the parent paying support and the parent receiving support because it ensures that payments are properly accounted for and made in a timely fashion.
In situations where a parent is behind on child support, or refuses to pay entirely, CSED has other ways of collecting back child support. CSED may seize the bank accounts of the non-paying parent and may intercept their state and federal tax refunds. CSED may also suspend a non-paying parent‘s driver‘s license, as well as any professional or occupational licenses her or she may hold.
An Attorney is Not Necessary But Can be Very Helpful
The main purpose of CSED is to look out for the financial well-being of the children of the State of New Mexico and CSED offers a variety of services that can be useful to parents. However, like any large, government agency, the world of CSED can be difficult to understand.
Consulting an experienced family law attorney can help you navigate a case with CSED in order to ensure that your rights and responsibilities regarding child support are protected.