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What happens if I don’t pay child support?

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2017 | Divorce

If you are a parent ordered to pay child support, then you need to take this obligation seriously. Not only is the financial contribution critical to your child’s well-being, but you can face some serious penalties if you do not comply with child support orders.

Before you dismiss this financial responsibility or assume there is nothing you can about missing payments, you would be wise to understand the consequences of these decisions as well as what you can do to remedy the situation.

Tools for enforcing child support orders in New Jersey

If you are behind in child support payments, then the courts can issue a number of different penalties to get you to make your payments. According to the New Jersey Department of Human Services, these penalties include:

  • Suspension of driver’s license, professional license and/or recreational licenses
  • Interception of lottery winnings and/or tax refunds
  • Reporting debts of more than $1,000 to credit agencies, resulting in damage to your credit rating
  • Withholding of your income
  • Issuing warrants for your arrest
  • Incarceration

These penalties can cause serious problems for delinquent parents, so it is best to avoid them.

If you cannot make your payments

There are circumstances under which a parent cannot keep up with their support obligation. This might stem from job loss, incarceration or other events that dramatically affect a person’s financial resources.

In these situations, you may be able to secure a support modification to reduce your payments. However, it is critical that you comply with an existing order until the courts approve a modification.

You can get back on track and avoid penalties

Parents make mistakes and go through difficult times, and this can result in some legal missteps, like missing child support payments. However, you do not have to let things spiral out of control. You can talk to an attorney to get back on track.

If you are a parent seeking child support from another parent, you would also be wise to consult an attorney. With legal guidance, you can take steps to enforce your child support order and pursue the money you and your child depend on.

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