What Happens if Child Support Isn’t Paid as Agreed?

Even when a marriage or a relationship ends, both parents are required to care for the child- financially, emotionally, mentally, and physically.  One way in which a parent may care for the child is through paying child support.  Child support is an obligation that a parent has to pay to the other parent to ensure that the child is financially cared for and that all financial needs are met.  If not agreed to in a divorce decree or separation agreement, child support is ordered by the court.

What are Some Potential Consequences of Not Following Your Child Support Order?

Parents should understand the importance of paying child support and the multiple ways in which the child support can be enforced that may negatively affect the paying parent.  If the support obligation is not followed, the paying parent may have several consequences.  Some of those consequences can include:

  • Garnishing wages by 25% until arrears are paid in full;
  • Continuing a wage garnishment, even after the child is of age, until the arrears are paid in full;
  • Application of liens of paying parent’s property;
  • Levy bank accounts to collect arrears;
  • Intercept both state or federal tax returns;
  • Intercept lottery winnings, if applicable;
  • Have passports restricted, revoked, or denied;
  • Collect money from workers’ compensation or unemployment benefits;
  • Report delinquent child support to credit bureaus
  • Garnish insurance payouts;
  • Suspension of driver’s license; and/or
  • Suspension of vehicle registration.

If you have a problem with arrears, or if you anticipate a problem, you may be able to get a modification of your support order.  You should consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options.  Addressing the issues or potential issues ahead of time could reduce the problems that could happen if they are left to fester.

If you are in need of an experienced family law attorney to help you with your matter, contact the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. to schedule your consultation.