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Louisiana child support and enforcement

Child support can play a pivotal role in a parent and child's post-divorce life. Without it, a family may be unable to provide for a child's daily needs, including food, clothing, shelter, extra-curricular activities and medical checkups may be taken off the table. This is unfair, especially when a non-custodial parent has been court-ordered to pay child support. So, what can be done to try to collect child support that is owed?

The state, via the Department of Children & Family Services, may be able to provide a variety of types of assistance. For example, the non-custodial parent's income may be garnished, meaning that a certain amount is withheld from that parent's paycheck to cover child support expenses. Tax refunds can also be intercepted, and motor vehicle registrations and professional licenses may be suspended.

However, in order to recover child support, a child support order must be in place. The court typically looks to the established child support guidelines when determining the amount of child support to be paid, which is often supplemented by a child support worksheet. The worksheet details a parent's income and expenses, giving the court a better idea of what a parent can pay. Once a child support order is issued, collection can begin.

Child support can be critical. Without it, some children's basic needs may go unmet. Those who are owed child support will likely want to try to do everything they can to ensure that they receive the funds to which they are entitled.

Source: Department of Children & Family Services, "Child Support Enforcement Services Provided," accessed on April 1, 2016

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