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Are there consequences for not paying child support?

On Behalf of | Nov 6, 2021 | Child Support |

When you have children with your former spouse in Pennsylvania, it is pretty much inevitable that you will need to share the financial responsibility of raising them. Often, a requirement to pay child support will accompany your divorce settlement.

If you feel frustrated about how much you need to pay or you run into financial problems that impact your ability to pay, you may consider avoiding or skipping payments. However, this decision can have detrimental consequences.

Impact of non-compliance

While it may seem easy to skirt around child support responsibilities, if the authorities catch wind of your behavior, the consequences could complicate your freedom. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, here are some consequences of failing to make payments.

  • Inability to acquire a passport
  • Income withholdings
  • Interception of your tax refund
  • Liens on your property

Authorities may also report your debts to the credit bureaus which can impact your credit score. In some cases, they may also remove your driving privileges by way of suspending your license.

Finding a solution

To avoid the aforementioned consequences of failing to pay child support, make sure you clearly understand the requirements of your settlement. Make payments on time and consistently. If you lose your job or have a substantial financial setback, immediately notify the courts of your concerns about affording payments. Often, you can negotiate a temporary modification of your former agreement so you can avoid legal penalties.

If you ever feel that an unreasonable requirement has negatively impacted you, an attorney may have the resources to help you make a case in favor of reducing or modifying the amount you owe. Making your child support payments on time can demonstrate your commitment to responsible parenting.