When parents split up, a court order for child support is usually issued. This places a financial responsibility on one parent to pay a specific amount of money to the other parent. The recipient must use the money to provide for the children. Other requirements, such as carrying the children on a health insurance policy and paying extra on specific expenses like uninsured medical care costs, might also apply.
Most parents pay their child support obligations without any issues. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. Even a parent who wants to pay their child support might experience adverse circumstances such as a job loss or furlough that might prevent them from being able to make the support payments. When this happens, the paying parent should file a petition for a modification with the court as soon as possible.
Failure to pay child support as ordered, regardless of the cause, can trigger a legal process with some very serious consequences. The court may consider the reason for the non-payment when determining what to do. If it is found that the parent acted in a willful manner, they can face incarceration, driver’s license or vehicle registration, bank account seizure and interception of tax refunds or fines.
It’s also possible that liens will be placed on personal property and that collection attempts that impact the credit score will occur. Because of the severity of the penalties, parents who are ordered to pay should do so if at all possible. If you know that you can’t pay, you should contact your attorney for assistance with finding out what options you might have to avoid facing legal consequences.