There are legal steps you can take if a parent who is obligated to pay child support under the terms of a court or government agency order stops making payments. Under the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984, district attorneys (D.A.s) or state’s attorneys must help a parent collect child support. Federal laws allow the interception of tax refunds to enforce child support orders. Other methods of enforcement include wage attachments, seizing property or — in some states — revoking the paying parent’s driver’s license.
Courts are very strict about the enforcement of child support. When a payer falls behind, the overdue amount is called “arrearage” and the payer is said to be “in arrears”. If a payer finds him or herself in arrears, he or she can always ask a judge for a reduction of child support payments. However, only future payments can be reduced. The payer is still obligated to pay the arrearages in full, at no reduced amount, and the court will enforce such payments.