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My ex isn't paying court-ordered child support - what do I do?

Many parents have been down the road of fighting for every penny of child support that is owed to them. It's an unfortunate reality but sometimes the other parent is unwilling or unable to pay child support. So what can the receiving parent do in that situation?

First, if you are not consistently getting child support every month, don't budget for it. It would be nice to always rely on the extra funds in order to provide for your children, but if it's not coming in regularly, learn to budget without it. That way, if the money comes in, it's a good addition to the plan you already have set in place instead of something that keeps you from being able to pay your bills on time each month.

Although you may want to run to your lawyer right away and head to court, remember that what you spend in attorney fees may end up being more than the child support you are fighting for. Granted, this doesn't mean you should give up hope and never turn to the court system for help. If your ex is able to pay and isn't making any effort to do so, it may be time to discuss the issue with your attorney.

If your ex is having a hard time making the payments each month, consider accepting whatever he or she can give. If they truly can't pay, they should consider asking the court for a modification for their own sake.

Finally, make sure to not confuse child support and child custody issues. Just because your ex is not paying child support, doesn't mean he or she cannot see his or her child. Keeping a parent involved may give them more reason to stay invested in their child.

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