Question: My ex lives in California, I and my children live in Virginia. My twins just turned 18 and graduate from high school in June 2009. My oldest turns 21 in July. I am owed over $220,000.00 in child support arrears. I have written to the Gov of California and everyone I can think of – and still there is no pressure on my ex to remain employed. He is a Journeyman Steam fitter with a Union job (since 1988). He will work for a month or two, and “drag-up” (quit) and return to collecting Unemployment. This has been going on for years. I then get a generous $167.00 every two weeks when he is on Unemployment. However, there have been no payments at all for the last two 1/2 months. He has attempted to modify my order three times over the years and the courts (Santa Clara County) has always found in my favor.
I know he has not filed taxes since `1997 (when I left) and wonder if I will ever collect any of these arrears. I know he can not discharge them thru bankruptcy…what- if any – options do I have? I am sure he has no assets and believe that jail time just might encourage him to go back to work.
Any advice is appreciated..
It would seem you best chance of collecting the support is to try to find any assets he might have, and attach them. Ask the CA Child support agency to do a State Parent Locator to find his assets. Consider hiring a private investigator in CA to do an asset check too.
Since the kids are over age 18 you can’t file criminal non support charges, so you will need to find a “civil” law process to collect the money, such as contempt of court, lien on property, seizure and sale of property., etc.
Contempt of court might work if the judge puts him in jail to force payment. To get a judge to do this you will need to provide evidence he has some assets. They can’t put someone in jail who has no visible source of income.
The court can order him to seek work and report into the CA child support agency weekly to prove he is looking for a job, but in these times it is unlikely he can easily find work, the unemployment rate in CA is high at present.
Read this list of ideas about where to find assets, maybe it will give you a lead. Locating Absent Parents and their Assets