Law Office of David L. Scott

What to Do if My Ex is Not Paying Child Support

When a couple divorces or splits up, and they have a child, both parties are responsible for financially supporting the child. This typically means that one parent will be ordered to pay child support to the other parent.

Child support amounts are based on state guidelines. The amount a person can be expected to pay will depend on factors such as income, number of children, health insurance, and childcare expenses. In Tennessee, parents must pay child support until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later.

Child support is a legal matter. It is ordered by the court, which means the parent must pay it to the other parent. If they fail to do so, it is considered contempt of court.

A parent who cannot afford to pay child support should get a modification. A modification may be granted when a person is facing substantial financial difficulties due to situations such as job loss, pay cuts, disability, or retirement. A parent should not simply stop paying child support.

So what happens if you are a custodial parent and the other parent is not making timely child support payments? Read on to find out what you can do.

First Steps

If the other parent is not paying child support, your first step should be to contact Tennessee’s  Child Support Program. The office provides many services to help ensure children in the state are getting their financial needs met. This includes collecting child support payments and enforcing orders, if necessary. The office will make efforts to locate the parent and retrieve the overdue funds.


Once the parent has been located, the Child Support Program will consider various enforcement methods to retrieve money from the delinquent parent and force them to pay up. There are various routes the program can take, and they will depend on the situation, as each case is unique. Here are some common enforcement options:

Many people may wonder if a person can get jail time for failing to pay child support. While it is an option, it is generally not an effective one because putting a person in jail keeps them from working and earning money to pay the past due child support; however, this may be an option if the court finds them in contempt for willfully failing to pay when they had the ability to pay.

Contact Our Murfreesboro Child Support Lawyer Today

Make sure your child is receiving the money they deserve for their care. If you are having trouble receiving child support from the other parent, you have options.

A Murfreesboro child custody lawyer from The Law Office of David L. Scott can help you get child support for your child. We can assist with a wide range of child custody issues. Schedule a consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (615) 896-7656.

schedule a consultation

Our focus is on helping you get through your legal troubles. With more than 25 years of experience, we are committed to getting the best legal outcome for you. Contact today for a free case evaluation. We look forward to hearing from you!