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What if a woman's ex won't pay child support?

The U.S. Census Bureau released some noteworthy statistics recently. A report indicates that approximately 50 percent of parents who are owed child support do not get the full amount. About a quarter of them receive none of the money they are owed at all. A lot of those who are owed child support payments are women.

An interesting Forbes article asks: what can a woman in that situation do? Is there recourse for a woman whose husband won't pay child support? The article offers a few tips.

An experienced family law attorney can be of assistance. In addition, each state has an Office of Child Support Enforcement, and this office can do a number of things to attempt to enforce payments. Here are a few of them.

• Place a lien on vehicles or real estate.

• Garnish wages. In theory, the state can remove money directly from a person's paycheck.

• Suspend licenses and passports. Many kinds of licenses can be suspended, including a driver's license, recreational licenses and professional licenses.

• Intercept funds. The state can't intercept everything, but certain funds can be secured, including the non-payer's workers' compensation payments, tax refunds and unemployment insurance payments.

• Tell credit bureaus. Since failing to pay child support can amount to an unpaid debt, it can look bad on a person's credit report.

• Prosecute the person in criminal court. This is not always easy to do, but it can be an option in extreme cases, leading to potential fines and even jail time.

Source: Forbes, "How can a divorcing woman get the child support, alimony she is owed?," Jeff Landers, Dec. 14, 2011

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