Some television viewers in California who watch “Rehab Addict” starring Nicole Curtis might relate to her real-world problems. Her most recent dispute with her former partner concerns $6,059.50 in unpaid child support for their 3-year-old son. The HGTV star filed a court petition that requires the child’s father to appear in court and explain why he has not made payment. If he does not show up, he could be held in contempt of court and ultimately face arrest.

The parents have engaged in a long series of disputes over their son. In July 2018, the father pursued sole custody. His court filings described Curtis as unfit to be a mother. He claimed that she had defied a court order and tried to prevent him from seeing his child.

In October 2018, the parents hammered out a joint custody deal that did not include any requirements for either party to pay child support. A previous custody arrangement had obliged the father to pay $1,200 per month. The unpaid child support motivating the mother’s latest court action might arise from unmet financial obligations from that first custody deal.

Unpaid child support could impose financial hardship on a family or expose the person who owes the money to serious consequences. Whether someone needs to recover unpaid support or catch up on delinquent payments, the services of an attorney might improve the outcome. Legal counsel could help a client settle the matter privately. If necessary, an attorney could initiate enforcement actions through the court or petition a court to lower the payment amount if a person has suffered a job loss or other crisis.