When Your Former Spouse Stops Paying Child Support

When Your Former Spouse Stops Paying Child Support

When Your Former Spouse Stops Paying Child Support

20 July 2018
, Blog

When there are no children involved, a divorce allows you to become a free agent. Sure, you can remain on good terms with your former spouse, perhaps even friends, and yet you might also wish to cut off all communication with them. It's entirely your prerogative. It's a different story when you and your former spouse have children. While your family lawyer would have assisted you in negotiating appropriate visitation and child support payments, what are your options when your former spouse shirks their responsibility when it comes to the latter? When child support payments dry up, you have a few choices about how to best fix the matter.

Reporting the Issue

You will need to raise the matter with the Department of Human Services. You might also query the matter with your former spouse, and if a missed or late payment was a one-off blemish in a series of otherwise successful payments (and there is what you believe to be a valid excuse), this could be the end of the matter. If you feel the need to contact the Department of Human Services, they will be able to take action after investigating the issue. But what could they do?

A Possible Change of Circumstances

It might be that your former spouse has had a change of circumstances which has hindered their ability to make the payments. They might believe that your circumstances have also changed, meaning that they no longer have to make payments (which would never happen so informally). If their change of circumstances mean that a new child support arrangement needs to be devised, you might wish to discuss the matter with your family lawyer in case you want to have them negotiate on your behalf.


It can also be the case that your former spouse has chosen to stop making their obligated payments, even if circumstances have not changed. The Department of Human Services can take the necessary steps to ensure that you receive the correct amount of child support. They might:

  • Take the owed amount in increments from your former spouse, whether from their bank account or as a portion of their salary prior to it being paid.

  • Take the owed amount from your former spouse's tax refund.

  • In extreme cases they can also prosecute the matter, and even ban your former spouse from leaving the country if it's suspected they might be planning to flee from their obligations.

If your former spouse ever falls short of their child support responsibilities, it's important that you know the most appropriate course of action.

About Me
Dealing With Divorce

If you are going through a divorce, you will understand just how stressful it can be. My name is Tony and last year, I divorced my wife. Our marriage had been on the rocks for some time. One day, I woke up and realised that I wasn't happy and that I had to take action. I moved out of the family home and contacted a divorce attorney who gave me lots of great advice. I was so impressed with how professional the attorney was. He really helped me to get through what was an incredibly difficult time. I hope this blog helps you.