The Ramifications Of Not Paying Child Support

We have discussed what to do when your ex stops paying child support (which is something The Grey Legal Group, APC  is accustomed to dealing with). Rather than explaining how to react to the situation, we wanted to write about how to prevent it from happening. If more people understood the serious legal consequences of not paying child support, they might prioritize it. To clarify, we are talking about people who experience a substantial change in their financial situation and need to modify their payments. Under those circumstances, contact us, and we can discuss post-judgment modification orders. 

Child support is meant to pay for food, housing, and clothing. The child support order states how much will be paid and on which date. Even missing one payment could trigger the court to issue an arrest warrant. 

Contempt of Court

Although you will hear it commonly abbreviated as “contempt,” being in contempt of court occurs when you act disrespectfully towards the court or willfully do not follow the court’s orders. Because the child support payments are court-ordered, failing to pay them equates to contempt. If child support payments are not made, the parent that is supposed to receive the support payments could file for contempt of court. This could result in a civil warrant being issued against the non-paying parent. However, even though we are using the term “civil” as opposed to “criminal,” you could still spend up to a year in jail in addition to being fined. 

Criminal warrants, generally, are for people who are severely behind on their payments. Due to how much money is owed, it is possible to spend a year or more in prison on top of fines. 

Other Common Results

The court may use other methods to ensure the child is provided for. President Regan signed the Family Support Act of 1988, allowing your wages to be withheld. The court takes your money and sends it directly to the custodial parent. This could also extend to tax refunds.

When you owe money to creditors, they can work through the courts to place a lien on your assets. Liens give other people a claim on your assets to force you to pay your debts. If, for example, your former spouse successfully gets a lien on your house, you cannot sell the home, nor can you take out loans against it until your debts are settled. The court may also revoke your license or passport until you have paid child support. 

Get in Touch With a Family Law Attorney 

When you discover that you cannot make child support payments, get in touch with an attorney at The Grey Legal Group, APLC. We have extensive experience handling post-divorce matters and enforcement, and we want you to use the legal options available. Contact The Grey Legal Group, APLC, to schedule a consultation.

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The Grey Legal Group

At The Grey Legal Group, we believe in helping all families with their legal needs so they can be protected on your journey back to a calmer, happier place of stability. Whether it is divorce, child custody, guardianship, domestic violence, or adoption, we have seen it all before and we can help you through it. With the legal knowledge and experience we bring to the table, we will be certain to find the best and most efficient solution to your situation.

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