We Explain the Consequences of Not Paying Child Support?
It is the court of law that officially mandates child support obligations. These are agreements that specifically define how much money the non-custodial parent should pay to support their minor children.If a non-custodial parent will not or cannot meet such responsibilities, they can face severe consequences, which can include a prison term.
Consequences When the Parent Does Not Pay Child Support
Child support is a court order, and a non-custodial parent who fails to make these payments can be charged with contempt of court. Such parents are notified about the contempt charge through written notice and are directed to be present in the court.
When the parent fails to appear in the court, the court may even issue an arrest warrant. Also, although the parent turns up, they can be still sent to prison in case they do not produce adequate evidence that they were unable to pay for the child support instead of just being reluctant to do so.
How to Avoid a Contempt Charge?
If a non-custodial parent has reasons to suspect that they would not be able to fulfill the child support obligations, they should act promptly.
Some of the reasons that can change a parent’s capacity to pay can include a reduction in their income, an extended illness, or termination of a job.
Such parents may file a motion to modify the existing child support obligations, which would reduce the monthly amount they must pay. While it can require the help of a lawyer and is time-consuming, this can be a proactive step to deal with issues related to child support is preferable in comparison to slapped with a content charge.
Other Punishments for Not Paying Child Support
Several judges acknowledge that it may not be possible for incarcerated parents to fulfill child support obligations. As such, courts would not compulsorily put a parent behind bars simply because they failed to make a few payments.
Based on the jurisdiction, the court can also change the amount to be paid for child support, which should be paid in the future. When a non-custodial parent fails to adhere to the child support payments as ordered by the court, it can lead to a big legal headache, time in prison, and high expenses.
If possible, it is sensible to request changes to stay away from several penalties. Also, when a non-custodial parent fails to fulfill child support obligations on time and in full, they may face many punishments.
Some of the punishments for failing to pay child support are as follows:
1. Wages Can Be Garnished
It signifies that the state can contact the defaulter parent’s employer directly. They will take the due payments right out of their monthly paychecks. Such a penalty is usually looked upon as a big embarrassment. It could even harm their work status.
2. Suspending Their Driver’s License
Today, states ask whether the applicant pays their child support as a part of the license renewal process of the driver. Also, child support agencies in the locality to send a report to the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles regularly if a parent defaults on fulfilling child support obligations. These reports enable the state to check and implement the 1st-step punishment quickly for failing to pay.
3. Termination from Military Service
Non-custodial parents employed in the military services and do not fulfill their obligation for child support can be dismissed from the services.
4. Cannot Procure a Passport
It is also possible for the state to prevent the defaulting parent from renewing or procuring their passport, thus restricting their movement for leisure or work.
5. Going to Prison
It is the last resort when a parent fails to make payment for child support. However, the duration of the prison term can differ by jurisdiction.