What Happens When A Parent Is Behind On Child Support?

The consequences of not paying child support can be severe in Pennsylvania. If you are behind on child support payments or if your ex owes you support, it's important to understand your options.

At Rowe Law Offices, P.C., our lawyers offer a free initial consultation to discuss child support issues whether incident to divorce or a relationship that did not involve marriage. From our offices in Wyomissing and Lancaster, we represent both payers and payees of child support in Berks, Lancaster, York, Schuylkill and Montgomery counties and the Lehigh Valley.

What Can I Do To Collect Past-Due Child Support?

If your ex is behind on child support payments, you can file a contempt action against him or her. If the judge finds that your ex has willfully violated the child support order, he or she may be subject to collection efforts that include withholding payments from pay or unemployment benefits or interception of tax refunds. In addition, your ex may be subject to sanctions such as driver's license suspension, property liens, fines or jail. The court can also order your ex to pay your attorney fees.

There are certain things you shouldn't do, even if your spouse is behind on child support:

  • Disparage your ex in front of your children for not paying support
  • Withhold visitation until your ex catches up on child support payments

What If I Cannot Afford Child Support Payments?

If you cannot afford your child support payments due to a change in your circumstances (such as job loss or illness), it's important to seek a court-approved child support modification as soon as possible. A verbal agreement with your ex-spouse to reduce or delay payments is not enforceable, and your ex-spouse could still demand full payment of the amount owed, including arrearages.

If you owe significant child support arrearages, our lawyers can prepare a defense based on the facts of your case.

Learn About Your Options During A Free Initial Consultation

To learn more about your options regarding child support arrearages, turn to the experienced family law attorneys at Rowe Law Offices, P.C. Call 610-816-0935 or 866-232-1913, or send us an email to schedule a free initial consultation.