Saturday, February 24, 2007

Enforcing Support: Suspending Licenses, A Checklist

Indiana law permitted the suspension of a driver's license for many years. I recall only one case in all that time where I filed a petition to suspend a license and then the suspension was abated so long as the payor was current in his child support.

Why abate the suspension? Because he needed the license to get to work and my client needed him working to get the money needed to pay his child support. I think that was the case where I learned some remedies do better to wake up the opposing party than to punish them fully. I actually got that phrase from my client - she just wanted to wake him up. We did, too.

The issue of suspending a driver's license came up again and I decided it might be a good post to list the licenses which can be suspended for failing to pay child support:

  1. A driver's license.
  2. Any professional license (including applicants for a professional license).
  3. A horse racing commission or gaming commission license.
  4. A insurance, recovery, or bail agent's license.
Overall, the payor must owe $2,000.00 or be three months behind in child support payments. If the payor pays in full or an income withholding order is activated, the statute provides a stay of a suspension.

I think that an income withholding order pretty much trumps the need for a license suspension. I do not think that many cases will be stayed other than with an income withholding order. After all, it is not too often we see people making lump sum payments of $2,000.00 or more.

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