Odenton, MD asked in Child Support for Maryland

Q: Child Support Question: Ex-husband owes about 63,000 in back support. Makes small payments. Do I have any options ?

Located in Maryland.

Ex-husband owes about 63,000 in back support. Last payment recieved was end of October. It's now December, no payment has been recieved. He is in Germany hiding. He has no contact with myself or his children (his Choice)

What should I do? Do I just recieve the small payments?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: To the extent the arrearages have been reduced to a monetary judgment, which is not automatic and requires a motion and request to do so, that judgment may then be collected like any other judgment. What does that mean? If you can locate assets, like bank accounts or real property owned by him, you can have a writ of attachment issued and served to seize the asset (in the case of cars and bank account balances), or record a lien (in the case of real property) and untilmately foreclose on the lien and sell the property in an auction. If the assets are located in another jurisdiction than where the the judgment was entered, then there are procedures for recording the judgment in the jurisdiction where he or the assets are located. Debtors can be compelled to appear and answer under oath as to what assets they own, or produce bank statements, deeds and car titles to identify them. If you know his employer, you might attach and garnish his wages. Collection laws and options vary by jurisdication. Whether, and to what extent, Germany would allow a civil US judgment to be recorded and collected, is a matter of German law for which you woud need German legal representation. A Maryland judgment may be collected for 12 years, after which it expires, but it can be extended for another 12 years simply by filing a written notice of renewal prior to the first 12 year period expiring. A judgment in Maryland earns 10% annual interest, so it will grow quite large over time. Whether your ex ever has any assets to locate and attach, or an employer you can garnish, is unknown. A judgment is basically a hunting license, not a self-fulfilling payment option. It takes money, time and a lot of searching to chase after debtors who do not want to be found and who hide their assets. If you can get him served with a civil contempt order from Maryland for intentional and wilful evasion of his child support obligation, the court has a few more tools in its toolbox (like jail) if he's hiding assets available to pay the arrearage, but you'd need to get him back into Maryland. I doubt Germany will honor a civil contempt order from a US court.

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