A piece of paper reading "Child Support Payments" resting on a desk. Money sits on top of it.

My Ex Isn’t Paying Child Support. What Should I Do?

Take Action Against Inactivity

If your divorce agreement makes mention of child support payments, then the payer is responsible for making those payments on time. This is non-negotiable, as child support payments are mandatory. However, there are instances where multiple payments are not being made as they should be. How should you handle this situation?

Seek the Guidance of an Attorney

Your first step should be to call an attorney who can guide you through your options. Attorneys know how to handle these types of situations and can be a calming presence in a midst of uncertainty. If your ex isn’t making their child support payments, call your attorney for help. They can inform you of legal options, including seeking a court order or involving the government’s assistance.

Government Involvement

Should you choose to go this route, one option is to get the help of the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ). This branch of the government has a Division of Child support that is dedicated to ensuring that child support payments are made on time by the responsible party.

Court Enforcement

The attorney you speak to may suggest seeking an enforcement order from the court. The court could find the person violating the support order in contempt of court, which is usually accompanied by various penalties. To see if you can enforce your existing order, you will need to file a Motion for Contempt or a Motion for Order to Show Cause and be able to argue how your ex is violating the support order.

Ways to Still Receive Child Support

Despite your ex causing problems with your support payments, choosing one of these options to enforce your order can still lead to receiving money for child support. Depending on the action taken by either a judge or the Oregon DOJ, your ex could have their wages garnished, tax refunds withheld, or some other method of ensuring compliance with the order. What happens may just depend on the unique situation.

Seek a Portland Family Law Attorney

If you’re dealing with an ex who is refusing to pay child support, know that you have options to protect your rights and ensure that the order is being followed. At Levine Law Center LLC, we want to help you get what is rightfully yours.


To schedule a consultation with our Portland family law attorneys, call us at (503) 433-8340 or visit us online.

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