How to Get Your Ex to Pay Child Support


Treat child support as a serious obligation and do not accept excuses. Show the other parent that the money has a positive impact on the child's life.

  • Have a serious attitude toward child support. If you treat it seriously, the other parent will, too.

  • Keep records. If child support is paid directly to you and does not go through a state agency, keep a log of when payments are made. If you have written proof of missing payments, the money will be easier to collect.

  • Give receipts. Give the other parent a receipt for each payment received. He or she will be able to produce receipts for payments actually made but none for payments he or she is lying about.

  • Do not treat child support as your fun money. Treat the money with respect as an important part of your child's support.

  • Tell the other parent what you did with some of the money once in a while. You are not required to report how you spent the money, but it will make the other parent feel important if he or she knows the support money paid for a new winter coat for the child or for a month of school lunches.

  • Do not be casual about late payments. Payments are due on the date ordered. If payment is not received, it is a violation of the court order.

  • Ask for the money if you do not receive it on time. Call the other parent and politely ask when you will receive it.

  • Send a letter requesting the money by registered mail if you do not receive it after asking verbally.

  • Explain to the other parent that you will have to ask the court to collect it if you receive no response to your letter. Remind the other parent that the court will impose interest charges and it will be cheaper for him or her to simply pay you on time.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not involve your child in child support payment disputes.
  • Do not withhold visitation when you do not receive payment unless advised to do so by a lawyer. You will be in violation of the visitation court order if you do so.
  • Involve the local child support enforcement agency. In some states they are always involved and in others they will only assist at your request. They can make the matter seem very formal and serious.
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