If an order has been entered that awards you child support and the other parent is behind by at least one full month in the child support payments, it is possible to pursue an enforcement action to collect the past-due child support.

In Nebraska, most counties have designated the county attorney as responsible for enforcement of child support obligations. Some counties have attorneys who are specifically designated to perform child support enforcement services. These attorneys are often referred to as authorized attorneys or child support attorneys.

If the other parent is not paying the court ordered child support obligation, you may take action to enforce the court order either with the help of a child support attorney through the county or through a privately hired attorney. The benefit of hiring a private attorney is that he or she may be able to expedite the initiation and conclusion of the enforcement action. Unlike a private attorney, you do not need to pay for the services of a child support attorney.

To initiate an enforcement action in Nebraska, visit the website for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Child Support Enforcement. There you will find an application for child support services. Or, you can call the Nebraska Child Support Customer Service Center directly at 1-877-631-9973.

You can also choose to retain a private attorney to initiate an enforcement action to seek compliance with your child support order.

Through the enforcement action, the court could order payment of both the current amount of monthly child support, plus an additional amount to be paid every month until the past-due child support amount (referred to as “arrearages”) is paid in full. The court could also order that your child support payments be automatically withheld from the payor’s paycheck.

Other enforcement actions include: the interception of state and federal tax refunds; garnishment of a checking or savings account; suspension of a driver’s license or professional license; and denial of a passport application.

The payor may be found in contempt of court if the court finds that his or her failure to pay child support is willful or intentional. Possible consequences include being fined or jailed.

If you aren’t receiving your court ordered child support, contact your attorney or the Nebraska Department of Health and Humans Services Child Support Enforcement to take action.

Angela Lennon