If your child’s other parent is delinquent in their payment of child support to you, no doubt you are experiencing frustration and a mix of other emotions. A priority concern may be how you will provide your child with what they need if the child support payments are not made in full and on time. If you have made attempts in the past to rectify the situation with the other parent to no avail, you may be at wit’s end. Having a legal advocate on your side may result in the other parent coming forward with the child support payments that they owe you. If they do not do this then your lawyer can assist you in petitioning the court to force the other parent to comply. That could result in them being charged with a criminal offense and possibly going to jail if they do not conform to the child support agreement that is in place.
Potential Penalties for Non Payment of Child Support
As mentioned, a child support agreement is a legally binding contract. As such, the failure by either party to adhere to the agreement may result in serious consequences, particularly for the parent who is not making their required child support payments. Should the issue be presented to the family law court judge, they may rule that the parent who is not making their payments on time and in full may face any or all of the following consequences:
- Garnishment of their wages. Every time they are to be paid, a court authorized amount of money will be withdrawn from their wages before they receive their paycheck.
- Withholding of funds from their income tax refund. The amount of money owed to the other parent may be withheld in part or in full from the refund.
- The loss of driving privileges. They may lose their driver’s license indefinitely or permanently as decided by the judge.
- The requirement to pay one or more fines.
The Possibility of Criminal Charges
As a legally binding contract, the non-conformance to a child support agreement could result in jail time if the judge deems it is appropriate. Non-conformance of the agreement automatically puts the parent in contempt of court. Criminal charges must be instigated by the court; they cannot be brought by the custodial parent or their child support lawyer.
Turn to a Child Support Lawyer that Families Trust
A child support lawyer can assist you through this difficult time. They can guide you through the legal process, inform you of your rights and legal options, and help you to obtain the best possible outcome. If court action is necessary, they can assist you with this as well and provide you with the experience and insight that you need. Consider contacting a child support lawyer to help you and your child protect your best interests.