I am behind in my child support payments. Can the judge or state child support enforcement agency require me to post a bond or assets?
Depending on where you live, a judge or the state child support
enforcement agency could require you to post a bond to guarantee payment of
child support arrears.
Some states allow judges to require parents with child support
arrears to post a bond or assets, such as stock certificates, to guarantee
payment. In some states, for example, if a self-employed parent misses a child
support payment and the custodial parent requests a court hearing, the court
can order the noncustodial parent to post assets (such as by putting money into
an escrow account).
Most states’ child support enforcement agencies have the power
to require parents to post bonds or assets. But not all agencies use this
measure, and others use it for extreme cases only. In practice, few bond
companies will write bonds for child support debts. Most parents will find that
they must put property into an escrow account or, in some states, into a trust
account that is managed and invested for the child’s benefit.
You must be given notice of the action seeking to require
you to post assets or a bond and have an opportunity to oppose it. You may have
a good defense if posting the assets or bond would impair your ability to pay
your current support or to borrow money to pay the arrears.
To learn about other ways the government or your child's
other parent can collect child support from you, see our Enforcement
of Child Support Obligations area.
This is an excerpt from Nolo's Solve Your Money Troubles: Debt, Credit & Bankruptcy, by
Margaret Reiter and Robin Leonard.