Can a Lien Be Put on a House for Back Child Support?

by Jack Ori ; Updated July 27, 2017

When a court orders a non-custodial parent to pay child support, the parent must do so or risk contempt of court or other sanctions. One method the courts use to enforce child support orders is putting a lien on the delinquent parent's house. The parent may lose his home if he does not pay his back child support.

Court Order

Before your child's other parent can put a lien on your house, she must sue you for the back child support you owe. Once the court determines that you owe support that you have not paid, it enters a judgment against you. The child's other parent can then ask the court to put a lien on your house. If you do not pay your back child support, the court can then take your home to satisfy the debt.

Other State

It does not matter if your home is in a state other than the one your child lives in. If you do not pay your child support after the court puts a lien on your home, the child support enforcement agency in your child's state can foreclose on your home regardless of the state the home is in.

Other Enforcement Options

If you do not own a home, the court can take other measures to collect back child support. The court can also use these methods to collect child support in addition to putting a lien on your home. Courts commonly garnish non-custodial parents' wages if they do not pay their child support. In addition, the court can put a lien on the delinquent parent's bank account or seize other property the parent owns.

What to Do

If you cannot afford to pay your child support as ordered, go to court as soon as possible to request a modification of the original child support order. Show the court proof of financial need such as recent pay stubs and your most recent tax form. If the court grants your modification, you owe the new amount from that point forward. However, you still must pay any past due child support or risk a lien being put on your house.

About the Author

Jack Ori has been a writer since 2009. He has worked with clients in the legal, financial and nonprofit industries, as well as contributed self-help articles to various publications.