Consequences of Not Paying Child Support

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What does Child Support cover?

Child support is intended for the benefit of the child and is usually paid to the spouse who obtains primary custody over the child. Child support payments are very important for the upbringing and well-being of the child or children. Payments generally cover:

It is very important that child support payments be made in a timely manner and in accordance with the amounts and dates specified in the child support court order. Failure to follow the provisions in a child support order can lead to negative legal consequences.

What are the Legal Consequences of Not Paying Child Support?

Child support payments are taken very seriously, and missing payments can lead to legal consequences. The first thing that can happen is that the court can issue a warrant for the arrest of the parent who has missed child support payments. Warrants issued in connection with child support may be classified as either criminal or civil:
In addition to the legal penalties described above, failure to pay child support can have other consequences, including:

While the enforcement regulations may vary from state to state, these penalties are imposed on parents who are delinquent in paying child support. Therefore, it is very important to maintain child support payments so as to avoid legal liability.

What can I do if I am having difficulty making Child Support Payments?

For parents who are having difficulties meeting child support obligations, the following options may be helpful:

You may wish to consider the above options even before you have missed a payment in order to avoid the legal penalties for delinquency. If you are able to foresee difficulties in making payments, taking action earlier can often resolve future conflicts.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Missed Child Support Payments?

It is common for parents to experience financial hardships which affect the ability to render payments. Of course, it is best if you can avoid late or missed child support payments altogether. Failing to make child support payments can have many undesirable consequences. You should be sure to contact a family lawyer for issues with child support, especially if a warrant has been issued in connection with any court orders. 

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Last Modified: 03-13-2013 04:28 PM PDT

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