The courts take any issue involving minor children very seriously, and no less so when it comes to the issue of child support enforcement. Laws have been put in place to protect the most innocent of parties when a relationship ends, and the consequences for disobeying those laws can be stringent and strictly enforced. If you and your spouse are divorcing, read on to learn more about how child support orders are enforced.
Penalties for failure to pay child support.
For those who don't pay as ordered, the consequences can include the following:
- Having wages garnished.
- Being charged with contempt of court.
- Having liens placed on property, such as homes and vehicles.
- Having income tax refunds withheld.
- Losing eligibility for government assistance programs, like food stamps and housing assistance.
- Losing eligibility for government-backed loan programs, such as student loans, and FHA and USDA mortgage loans.
- Having your driver's license revoked.
- Arrest and jail time
While most family court orders are state mandated, child support enforcement is meant to allow any state to enforce the child support orders of any other state. The is meant to prevent a deadbeat parent from moving to another state to avoid paying for the support of their child. In fact, if you are found to have moved to another state for the purpose of eluding your child support obligation, you may be charged with a federal crime.
If you cannot pay your child support obligation.
If you are having trouble paying child support, don't put off taking action. Your local enforcement agency will work with you to form a payment plan that will help you to get caught up on your payments. Ignoring the problem will only cause a chain reaction of legal actions to begin, and once started you will end up owing several times as much money due to penalties and court costs for failure to pay. If your reasons for not paying are financial and based on a job loss or health issues, make sure to take some legal action as soon as possible. Contact a family law attorney for assistance in filing a request for a child support hearing, where you may be able to have the support order amended temporarily, depending on the circumstances.
Keep in mind that for divorcing parents, the amount of child support is based on federal law (and on the income of the non-custodial parent), so there is very little wiggle room. Consult with your divorce attorney for more information about child support and the enforcement of child support orders.
To learn more, visit a website like http://rhslaytonlaw.com.