Can I Refuse to Pay Child Support?

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What Is Child Support?

Child support is a court-ordered payment made by the parent not in custody of the child or children to the parent who is in custody. Child support is mainly designed to assist and reimburse the custodial parent with the expenses of raising the child.

The court determines child support after the judge looks over various factors like the income of the non-custodial parent, the expenses the custodial parent incurs raising the child, and how much support is required for the custodial parent to raise the child. Once the court orders the non-custodial parent to pay a determined value of child support, the non-custodial parent is expected to pay on a fixed basis. A parent can ask the court to delay determining child support by requesting a reservation of child support.

Can I Refuse to Pay Child Support?

Child support payments are not an option and cannot be refused because of a disagreement. Many non-custodial parents ordered to pay child support on a regular basis fail to meet this requirement due to many factors. Common excused for failing to pay make child support payments include economic hardship, disagreement over child custody, or complaints over the amount to be paid.

Legal Consequences for Refusing to Pay Child Support

The custodial parent can enforce child support payments in a number of ways, including:

A custodial parent can enforce the child custody payments by filing a motion of enforcement through the court or hiring a private agency to enforce and collect the money that they are owed by the non-custodial parent.

Can I Modify My Child Support Payments?

Under certain circumstances, it is possible to  modify child support payments. After the judge makes a child support order, either parent can petition to change the order of the court by showing that there has been a "change in circumstances" since the last child support payment was made. There are a number of reasons that a parent can modify their court ordered child support payments. Some of these reasons are:

Do I Need a Lawyer to Modify a Child Support Order?

If you are having difficulty making child support payments or want to modify a child support order, it may be wise to contact a family lawyer to discuss your options, especially if you are planning to go to court. Consulting with an experienced family lawyer can help you understand your rights and help you deal with the complicated court system.

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Last Modified: 02-17-2017 01:56 PM PST

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