How To Collect From A Self-Employed Ex

collect from a self employed ex

Don’t Fret – If You’re Owed Back Child Support, You Can Collect From A Self-Employed Ex

There’s no way to know if a self-employed ex-spouse is telling the truth about their earnings. Because of this, self-employment can make it difficult to collect child support through traditional means such as wage garnishment. Obtaining important papers legally, such as bank statements, phone records, or customer data, might serve as a foundation for subsequent action but you’ll need little patience and perseverance. Although it may require extra steps, if you’re owed back child support you can collect from a self-employed ex.

Collecting from an obligor who has his own business can be difficult even if  he’s willing to pay. However, if he’s not as supportive as he should be, it will be significantly more challenging. Child Support Enforcement (CSE) and other collection agencies may be at a loss for what to do when traditional collection measures like income garnishment become ineffective. Although it may seem like you have no options, collecting from an obligor who runs his own firm, particularly one who refuses to pay, is not impossible.

Till-tapping

Although cash-based enterprises are becoming less common, they do exist. Your ex believes that having cash on hand would make it easier for him to conceal it from you, but this isn’t the case. Arrears can be collected using the tried and true process known as till-tapping.

This method involves sending the sheriff to your ex’s business, taking whatever is in the cash register at the time. Expect to pay a fee, and you’ll need to provide the day, time, and location to collect the money. This does give you an advantage; you can have the sheriff show up at a time when they are likely to have a full cash register, such as right after the lunch rush at a restaurant or a barbershop right after payday. 

His Business’ Assets

Suppose the business is a sole proprietorship, where he is the only owner and pays personal income taxes on it. In that case, everything within the business, from its income to its assets, is his personal property, and you have every right to go after it. Bet you didn’t know you can claim the business assets to cover arrears claiming money from his “baby” to support your babies? 

You can seize and sell equipment and supplies in the business to cover the arrears. Anything from grills for restaurants, chairs for barbers, and washing machines for a laundromat. You can even seize the couch in his waiting room! Going directly after his business assets is not a light step, but considering all the hell he’s put you through to bring you to this point, you gotta do what you gotta do!  His equipment is not more important than your children.  He can find a way to replace the equipment.

Even His Business’ Bank Account?

That’s right. If the obligor is the sole owner of his business, you can take money right out of the business’s bank account. It’s just like garnishing money from his personal account, but a little bit sweeter. Placing a lien on the account or presenting a Writ of Garnishment, a court order to turn over money or assets to pay for a debt, to the bank will get you paid.

I Think He’s Hiding Something…

Some business owners will make things even more difficult for you by putting the business and its assets in other peoples’ names, such as a business partner or family member. If he thinks that because his business is under someone else’s name that you can’t collect your child support, he is sorely mistaken. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an easy path to take, but it is another option. . Identifying his key relationships can show what assets they have, and then they can be claimed to pay for child support.

I Thought He Made More Than That

Because of varying income, business-owning obligors also can fudge their income to reduce child support. He can decrease his salary in the months leading up to a court date, then boost it right back up when it’s over. He can also write off personal assets for taxes or even create loans between himself and family members or friends to make his income look lower, and there are websites that provide tips on how to do this. 

It’s despicable, not to mention illegal, to falsify income so that he doesn’t have to hand it to you. Especially when that income could be the difference between going on a school trip or not or getting ice cream after their soccer game. When he doesn’t pay, it’s the children who suffer.

The systems for enforcing child support in the United States hardly pressure business owners to pay their arrears. Their attitude seems to be that their income is inconsistent, so they don’t want to be too hard on him during their rough months, but what about your kids? They still need food, clothes, and shelter, which never goes away, no matter what your current situation is. Your bills don’t go away when you have a rough month, so he should still have to pay his support during his. When it falls on you to get him to pay up, these methods can help you catch up to that evader and get him to pay.

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Athena Collects
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