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Frederick J. Brynn, P.C.

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During a divorce proceeding, one of the most contested topics is about child support. And while most parents certainly want to ensure their child has the best of life possible, the fact that they have to send money to their ex spouse can cause some resentments. After the divorce has been finalized, some parents may be tempted to skip out on child support payments here and there, perhaps as a way to get back at their ex. However, the only thing that may happen as a result is that their child is without the things they need and then severe penalties are inflicted on behalf of the court, after the recipient parent notifies them about the lack of funds. 

Here we discuss further about the types of penalties that a parent may endure for failing to meet court-ordered child support obligations: 

Jail Time, Wage Garnishment, and More

If the parent who is supposed to pay child support has trouble keeping up with payments due to financial hardships, recently being let go from their job, or another legitimate reason, then they must notify the court right away and request for temporary or permanent child support modification. If the paying spouse doesn’t communicate their challenges, then the court may assume that they are just being negligent.

All in all, it isn’t worth intentionally holding back child support payments from the other parent. Examples of consequences for non-payment of child support include:

  • Fines, jail time, or both
  • Denying tax refunds
  • Warranting for their arrest 
  • Finding them in contempt of court
  • Revoking passport
  • Garnishing wages
  • Suspending or denying licenses (driver’s, professional, hunting/fishing/boating)
  • Placing a lien on property
  • Excluding from receiving government benefits

Wages may be garnished in several ways. The court may require an employer to take a portion out of the parent’s earnings before they even receive it, from unemployment checks, or out of workers’ compensation benefits. If your former spouse has failed to abide by child support terms, then it may be time to consult with an attorney for help. 

Custodial Parent Cannot Restrict Visitation

In response to the paying spouse failing to provide payments, the custodial parent may try to prevent them from visiting their child until funds have been sent. However, it is important to note that visitation rights are completely separate from child support obligations, and the custodial parent should not prevent the other from seeing their child. Doing so may only lead to more turmoil for all parties involved, especially the child who may feel torn between both parents.

The best course of action for dealing with an ex spouse who hasn’t sent child support since the divorce has finalized, is to consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable in family law. Ask a family law attorney, like The Mckinney Law Group about the child support in your state to find a solution for your situation.

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