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Uncovering income and assets for child support.

Though child support is considered a priority debt and is often subject to a wage withholding order, some are more than others in collecting money. Those who work 'off the books", those who do not report income and those who claim not to be employed can make life more difficult for a child support recipient. Those in Richmond, Virginia should know the process may be difficult, but not impossible.

With a wage earner, the process is simpler. The wage earner provides W-2 forms and tax returns; the amount to be paid is based off those earnings, and can be collected through a garnishment or wage order.

Those who are self employed and are insistent on hiding assets present unique challenges to the enforcement process. First, the custodial parent should ensure that a child support order is in place. A court will rarely waive child support, even if the noncustodial parent claims a lack of income. The court can impute income based on the education, work experience and job training of the other parent.

In addition, the parent claiming lack of income can be brought before the court and questioned under oath about income and assets. False answers can be grounds for perjury or a contempt citation. Answers can be used as leads to determine sources of income.

Payment records can be subpoenaed from third parties if they show payments to the obligor. IRS records, including 1099 forms, will show payments to the other parent. Tools, such as credit reports, may show claimed income by the noncustodial parent. It may show credit issued well beyond the noncustodial parent's claimed income.

A party failing to received payments under a child support order can utilize the Office of Child Support Enforcement or may hire a private attorney experienced in collecting past due support.

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Bowen Ten Cardani, PC

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