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It's your right to pursue child support if it's not being paid

When your spouse left, you were awarded child support. Over time, the checks have stopped coming, but since you make enough money, you haven't made a big deal out of not receiving what you're owed.

Other people tell you that it's important to let the courts know. Why? Does it really matter as long as your child is cared for?

Why is child support so important?

Child support isn't just extra money that the court awards to your child when you and your spouse divorce. It's there to provide for him or her in addition to your income.

In a traditional household, there are typically two parents to provide for a child. When a child lives in a single household, child support is there to help support the child's care, whether that includes groceries, medical costs or new clothing.

Child support generally goes to the parent who spends more time caring for the child. For example, if the father has the child for five days of the week, it would be normal for the mother to pay child support and vice versa. Child support is calculated by factoring in the incomes of both parents and the amount of time each parent spends with the child.

What can you do if your ex isn't paying child support?

If there is a child support order and your ex-partner is not paying, you can file a claim with the court to seek compensation from him or her. The Division of Child Support Services can also help you obtain the child support payments through other methods, like garnishing his or her wages or by intercepting tax refunds.

Source: WLAJ 53, "My Legal | Child Support," Nov. 06, 2017

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