What Happens If You Don’t Pay Child Support?
As part of your divorce agreement, the court decided that your ex-wife will pay child support to you every month until your son turns 18. She’s not happy with the order and makes it known by paying you at the very last minute. Then one month goes by, no payment. A second month goes by — still nothing. You call her up but no answer. By the third month, you’re angry and ready to take legal action. What can you do?
Unfortunately, this can be a common problem. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there was $32.9 billion in child support owed during 2013. Of that amount, only 68.5 percent of that money was actually received, averaging about $3,950 per year per custodial parent who was due support. Not a lot of money to use for the care of a child.
So let’s say you’re the parent who refuses to pay child support in this scenario. What can happen? Quite a bit, actually.
Meet the OCSS
Before we get into what happens, let’s discuss the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS). This state agency’s purpose is to enforce child support laws. That means it makes sure child support payments set up and distributed to the right parent. the OCSS also works with other states to make sure parents pay their support orders. And of course, it also uses collection measures to enforce child support obligations.
If a parent is behind on his/her child support payments, the OCSS has multiple tools to bring payments are up to date. These tools include:
- Withhold a portion of the parents’ income
- Report parents to consumer credit bureaus, damaging their credit rating
- Suspend the parent’s driver’s license or professional licenses
- Seize bank accounts, stocks, or bonds the parent owns
- If the parent falls behind more than $2,500, then the government will be contacted to deny, suspend, or revoke the parent’s passport
- Issue a warrant for the parents’ arrest and take the parent to court
The OCSS has some incredible power. For instance, it requires the paying parents to report all new hires within 20 days of hiring. That way it knows where you’re working, how much you may be earning, and be able to trace your income so the money is paid toward any arrearages or current child support. The OCSS can also make a judgment by simply looking at your computer file.
It’s important to keep up on your child support payments. But if you are having issues, you may need to get your court order changed. You’ll need an experienced family lawyer to help you with your case. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for more information.