When Is Child Support Considered Late?

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When Is Child Support Considered Late?

In most cases the date for paying monthly child support will be indicated in the child support order itself. This is usually a standard payment date such as the 1st, 15th, or the end of the month. Child support is generally considered late if this payment date is missed. Some courts may allow a short "grace period" for late payments, but in most cases, consequences may result shortly after missed payments occur.

What Is a Delinquency Notice?

One consequence of a late child support payment is that the court may issue a "delinquency notice" to the paying parent. This is a statement explaining that a payment has been missed. It often includes instructions for making up for the late payments, as well as consequences of not paying the support in a timely manner. The consequences of not paying child support  include:

In most states, a delinquency notice will be automatically issued if there is more than one payment term that is past due.

Can I Contest a Delinquency Notice?

In many cases, a delinquency notice can be contested. The paying parent typically has only a set amount of time in which they can appeal a delinquency determination. For instance, courts might allow a contest up to 15 days after the delinquency notice is sued.

When contesting a delinquency notice, you will have to present evidence in support of your reasons, such as: a loss of employment; relocation to another state; or other changes in circumstances. Once the payments are caught up, the court will usually cancel the consequences of the delinquency notice. In some cases, the recipient party can file to obtain retroactive child support, which is payment for several payments that were missed in the past.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Child Support Issues?

Failure to pay child support can result in serious legal consequences. Late payments can also result in negative effects for the paying party. You may wish to hire a lawyer if you need any help at all with child support issues. Your attorney can advise you on your options regarding the payments, and can represent you during any court meetings or proceedings.

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Last Modified: 11-14-2013 11:30 AM PST

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