How Does Child Support Get Paid If My Ex Is in Jail?
Child support in Maryland provides couples — specifically the custodial parent — a financial safety net to support the child’s needs after a divorce. Although the law requires both parents to support the child, non-custodial parents make most of the required payments.
Unfortunately, non-custodial parents may break laws and serve jail time, as a result. After being sentenced to jail, the non-custodial parent may be unable to pay for child support, leaving the custodial parent with the financial burden of supporting the child.
If your ex ends up serving time, you may be wondering how child support gets paid. Learn more about how Maryland courts go about child support payments when non-custodial parents are in jail.
Does the Non-custodial Parent Have To Pay Child Support During Incarceration?
In the past, incarcerated non-custodial parents had to pay child support. Those who failed to do so risked arrears that added up the longer these went unpaid.
However, as of October 2012, parents serving jail sentences no longer had to pay for child support. The child support exception applies to parents incarcerated after October 1, 2012.
Also, parents must serve jail sentences lasting more than 18 months to be free from arrears. They must not be on any work release program or parole. Incarcerated parents must also prove that they cannot afford to pay for child support during the duration of their jail sentences.
Child support orders will still be in effect during the parent’s incarceration. Upon release, non-custodial parents have a grace period of 60 days before they begin making child support payments again. The parent will not owe the custodial parent for any child support payments missed during incarceration.
The new child support law does not apply to parents sentenced before October 1, 2012. Parents sentenced to prison in Maryland before that date must still pay for child support or risk the accumulation of arrears.
What About the Assets of the Arrested Parent?
As mentioned earlier, sentenced parents must also prove their inability to make child support payments. The reasons parents can invoke range from the lack of funds to the lack of employment brought about by the jail sentence.
To prove the lack of funds, arrested parents must display the absence of money or other assets. If the incarcerated parent left assets, these may be recovered to fund child support payments.
The assets can undergo liquidation for the continuation of child support payments. To achieve this, you must call a family lawyer. You must also visit the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration for assistance in enforcing child support orders.
What Else Can I Do If My Ex Refuses To Pay?
Barring the lack of funds, obligor parents have no reason to avoid paying for their share of child support. Also, paying child support is easier these days with the help of payment services. However, your ex may still be adamant about not paying their share. You may resort to these options if your ex refuses to pay their share of child support:
Contact the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA)
If your ex refuses to pay, you must call your family lawyer and the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA).
The CSEA is the agency responsible for the enforcement of child support orders. The agency has various ways of recovering child support payments from your ex. Here are ways the CSEA can help you:
- Recover money from your ex’s savings account
- Facilitate the conversion of assets to fund child support
- Collect money from the incarcerated parent’s unemployment benefits
- Keep the incarcerated parent on the hook to pay using the New Hire Reporting Program. The program prevents newly released parents from evading child support obligations. Once released parents find jobs, employers report them to the CSEA, allowing the agency to track these parents down to recover payments.
Reach Out to the Maryland Department of Human Resources for Child Support Assistance
The Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHS) performs similar functions to the CSEA. However, the DHS also has services that can provide you with child support relief. To learn more, visit the DHS’s Child Support Services.
Call Us To Learn More About Recovering Child Support Payments
As the custodial parent, you do not deserve to shoulder financial burdens alone. Call us now to learn more about what you can do to recover child support from your incarcerated ex in Maryland.
With offices in Baltimore, Columbia, Towson, Northern Virginia, Westminster, and Dundalk, Albers & Associates is here to help you with any questions you may have. Contact us, or call our experts at Albers & Associates at (443) 665-8030 to learn how we can aid you with a free consultation.