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Late Child Support Payments

Thank you for your wonderful website! My wife receives child support from her ex, which by court order is due on the 15th of each month. Since October of last year he has been consistently late, sometimes not paying until the next month, and repeating the same again the following month However, as in years past, he is always able to come up with all of the money in full by the last day of the year (he pays it to the Support Registry, so we don’t really know for sure what day he paid, but have assumed he made it under the wire) if it is a year he claims the 10 year old child on his taxes (He was awarded alternating years to claim her IF he is current on his child support). My question is, if he didn’t pay in full by the 15th of December per the court order, IS he actually current by legal definition by supposedly paying in full at the end of the year? Along that same line, if he is consistently late, is there any recourse? He quit a full time job making 43k a year to go back to school and work only part time, and now has been fired from that job (because he was unwilling to work evenings and weekends) and is unemployed as far as we know (just student teaching supposedly for his teachers certificate, and therefore doesn’t have an employer to garnish against anymore). Quite frankly, this guy is the typical “guard house” lawyer, interpreting the divorce decree and subsequent revisions in whatever way suits him. He is always careful to read the decree and look for loopholes (there are many) and do whatever he wants. We are constantly bombarded with new interpretations, and are tired of the battles. Please help us? Thank you again. from Colorado.

If the x-husband has paid all child support due and owing by December 31st he is current for that taxable year, and thus, able to take the deduction.

Although he is consistently late, if he eventually pays up, I wouldn’t file a contempt, since it is costly and time consuming.

If he is consistently late and that causes your wife hardship, it may be worth filing a contempt citation.

If he is unemployed and doesn’t have wages to garnish, you can garnish his bank accounts or lien his house, if he has these assets.