It’s not a secret that children are expensive. Making the effort to make sure their needs are met can often mean that you as a parent must go without. In a situation where parents are unmarried or divorced, it is even more important to make sure that both of you are on the same page when it comes to providing for the children involved.

Your children have a right to adequate support. If you are the parent that your children live with and you need a help providing for them, you can request the court to intervene. You can take the other parent before a judge with either an original suit affecting the parent child relationship or a modification to a prior order, and request that they pay you child support on that child’s behalf. If the court finds child support appropriate, a ruling for child support will be made based on a percentage of the net wages of the other parent. You will then be granted the exclusive right to receive that child support on behalf of the children until further orders from the court.

But what do you do when the other parent refuses to pay, or refuses to pay on time? There is an action you can take called an enforcement. What it allows you to do is petition the Court, to hold the party not obeying the order responsible. If they still aren’t willing to comply with the order, they may be held in contempt of court which can result in fines and/or jail time depending on the judge’s discretion.

But what if you’re paying child support and you suddenly lose your job or receive a substantial pay cut? You will need to file a modification and request that the court lower your child support obligation. Inversely, should the other parent get a significant increase in pay you can file a modification and request that the Court increase their child support obligation. Either way the Court will weigh the facts, and determine whether a decrease or increase is in the child’s best interest.

Your children deserve the support that is their legal right. If you are in a situation where the other parent is refusing to pay you child support do not let them deprive your child. Find an attorney who is ready and willing to fight for you and your family until the final bell rings.