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What happens if you don’t meet your child support obligations?

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2023 | Child-Related Matters

In the United States, parents of minor children have a legal responsibility to financially support them, regardless of their relationship with each other. Most parents are not just willing but eager to do anything to help their kids thrive.

Divorce often complicates child-related matters, especially for the parent responsible for paying support. This financial burden can become too much to manage, often leading to nonpayment. Unfortunately, it could also lead to enforcement attempts if you do not follow the terms of a child support order.

How does California enforce child support?

One of the most common ways that Child Support Services attempts to collect unpaid child support is through wage garnishment. That means those who already cannot meet their obligations have even less income to work with, especially with the 10% interest charge added on.

Other enforcement measures include:

  • Placing liens against your property
  •  Suspending your driving license
  •  Revoking occupational or professional licenses
  • Intercepting tax refunds or lottery winnings

You could also face contempt of court charges if the authorities believe you have the means to pay but refuse to do so.

What are your options if you are behind or can’t pay?

Whatever else, do not ignore the matter, or you risk making things worse for you, the kids and your co-parent. The problem will not disappear without intervention, and those in charge do not typically forgive child support arrears.

You may be eligible to have the child support order modified if a substantial change in circumstances (job loss, fewer hours, etc.) caused your inability to pay. Having experienced legal guidance can help.