Failure to Pay Child Support is a Crime
Every child has the right to financial support from his or her parents. When one person is assigned by the court to pay child support, they are legally required to keep up with thse payments. A failure to do so is a crime.
Unfortunately, failure to pay court-ordered child support is an extremely common offense across the United States. Offenders might skip payments here and there, fail to make the full payment, or simply stop paying. At any given time, there is more than $100 billion in unpaid child support payments across the United States.
Possible penalties for failure to pay child support
Many states have beefed up their child support payment enforcement rules over the last decade. Parents who fail to meet their child support obligations meet a variety of penalties, that can vary depending on the state and the degree to which they have been neglectful of their support responsibility.
Common penalties include:
- Wage deduction: The money owed gets garnished directly from the supporting parent’s wages.
- License suspensions: Some states will suspend or revoke the offending parent’s driver’s licenses and professional licenses until they meet their obligations.
- Income tax refund intercepts: The state is allowed to seize tax refunds to cover child support obligations.
- Passport restrictions: The Department of State is allowed to deny passport renewals to parents who do not meet their child support obligations.
- Liens: Courts are allowed to issue liens on property to fulfill child support payment obligations.
- Arrest and jail time: In severe cases, offending parents can be arrested, charged with contempt and potentially face jail time. This will generally be a last resort after all other above methods have been exhausted.
If you have been issues with an ex-spouse or parent of your child not paying child support, it is important you work with an attorney to hold them responsible for their payments. Contact an experienced Long Island divorce lawyer at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates for more information about the steps you should take.