Consequences of Not Paying Child Support

When the parents of a child are no longer together, the court will make determinations about the child's care, including which parent the child lives with and the amount of support the other parent pays to help contribute to the child's upbringing. While the amount of the child support can be negotiated, the final decision of the court is legally enforceable. Neglecting to pay child support is not an option, and the parent that refuses to abide by the court-order can face serious consequences.

What happens when I don't pay child support?

Child support payment failure can be punished by both state and federal laws. Those that fall behind on child support payments can have numerous actions taken against to ensure the child receives the support. It is seen as particularly serious offense, as a parent is legally responsible for a child until they are 18 and failure to provide this could be considered contempt of court.

According to the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1981, a non-custodial parent that has not paid child support can face certain actions from the Office of Child Support Enforcement.

Some of these actions include the following:

  • Garnishment of wages
  • Liens against real estate and other property
  • Incarceration
  • Suspension of a driver's license
  • Court order of contempt
  • Reported to credit bureaus for the debt
  • Frozen bank accounts
  • Denial of renewing or obtaining a passport
  • Seizing tax refunds or other benefits

In New York, the Child Support Enforcement division is responsible for collecting unpaid child support. The office will first send the parent a notice explaining the child support process in detail, including when payments are due and how they can be made. The next action that the department will take depends on the amount of child support owed and the amount of time that the parent has not made any payments.

Are you behind on child support? Has your child been denied the payments they deserve? Whatever the case, take legal action to protect your situation by calling our firm! Request a case consultation with Peter L. Cedeño & Associates, P.C. today.

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