DCS has broad powers to enforce child support orders. It can garnish wages, attach bank accounts, intercept federal income tax refunds, file liens against real and personal property, seize vehicles and other property, and suspend various state-issued licenses (including driver’s, professional, and business licenses) in its efforts to collect child support.
Sometimes DCS is unsuccessful in collecting child support in a particular case. This can happen when the parent who owes child support is self-employed, works for cash, or conceals his or her assets. In cases where DCS is unable to collect current child support, the parent who is not being paid his/her child support can request that DCS refer the case to our office for a judicial enforcement action.
Once the case is referred to our office, we will obtain an order from a Superior Court judge requiring the parent who owes the child support to appear at a court hearing to explain him/herself. Frequently, the judge will find the parent in contempt of court for nonpayment of child support and establish a number of requirements that the parent must meet to remove the contempt finding. Our office then schedules a series of court hearings to review the progress the parent is making in paying his/her child support.