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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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Failure to Pay Child Support Charges: Here’s How a Family Law Attorney Can Help

By Spodek Law Group | October 20, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 20, 2023)

Last Updated on: 20th October 2023, 02:22 pm


Failure to Pay Child Support Charges: Here’s How a Family Law Attorney Can Help

Being a parent is one of life’s greatest blessings. But it also comes with serious legal and financial responsibilities. Providing emotional support is just one part of the equation. Parents are also required by law to provide financial support for their children’s basic needs until they reach adulthood.

But what happens when a parent fails to live up to this obligation? Unfortunately, many custodial parents struggle when child support payments are late or never arrive. And the consequences for non-custodial parents can be severe if they are accused of failing to pay child support.

If you are facing charges for failure to pay child support, it’s important to understand your rights under the law. An experienced family law attorney can help defend you against allegations and guide you through the legal process. Here is an overview of failure to pay child support charges and how a lawyer can assist.

What Does Failure to Pay Child Support Mean?

Parents have a legal duty to financially provide for their children. The specifics of this responsibility are outlined in child support orders established by the court. Child support is typically paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent on a monthly basis.

Failure to pay child support occurs when the paying parent does not make these court-ordered payments. This violation of the support order can occur when payments are:

  • Late
  • Only partially paid
  • Not paid at all

Missed child support payments quickly accumulate as monthly amounts go unpaid. For the struggling custodial parent, even one missed payment can cause financial and emotional turmoil. Non-payment deprives children of basic needs and represents a broken legal commitment by the non-custodial parent.

Penalties for Failure to Pay Child Support

Given the harm caused by non-payment, legal consequences exist to enforce child support orders. Each state handles failure to pay child support differently. But possible penalties typically include:

  • Contempt of court – Up to 6 months jail time and/or fines
  • Suspended driver’s license – Inability to drive until payments are made
  • Credit damage – Unpaid support reported to credit agencies
  • Passport denial – Inability to obtain U.S. passport
  • Tax refund interception – Seizure of tax refunds by the government
  • Professional license suspension – Inability to work in chosen profession
  • Bank account/asset seizure – Government can freeze accounts and liquidate assets
  • Warrant for arrest – Police arrest for failure to pay

These penalties disrupt both personal and professional life. The potential outcomes demonstrate how seriously the legal system takes child support obligations. For non-custodial parents struggling to make payments, aggressive enforcement actions can push you into a downward spiral.

How Can a Family Law Attorney Help?

Facing allegations of unpaid child support can feel scary and overwhelming. But an experienced family law attorney can help you navigate the complicated legal process and achieve the best possible outcome. Here are some of the key ways a lawyer can assist:

  • Negotiating alternative arrangements – Instead of penalties, your attorney can work to modify your child support order. For example, negotiating adjusted payment amounts or an alternate payment schedule.
  • Disputing invalid orders – If your child support order is inaccurate or was established incorrectly, your lawyer can fight to have it invalidated.
  • Halting interest charges – Attorneys can sometimes stop additional interest from accumulating on late child support payments.
  • Defending against contempt charges – Your lawyer can argue against contempt of court penalties and fines.
  • Reinstating driver’s and professional licenses – Attorneys can resolve license suspensions related to overdue child support.
  • Appealing rulings – Lawyers can help appeal unfavorable judgements to higher courts.
  • Requesting debt compromise – If you owe substantial back child support, your lawyer may be able to negotiate reduced payment of past-due amounts.

An attorney familiar with family law can also advise whether unique circumstances in your case could provide defenses to failure to pay allegations. For example, factors like unemployment, disability, or improper actions by the custodial parent.

In addition to practical legal help, a lawyer can provide guidance on next steps. Such as how to avoid future violations, rebuild credit, or restore your driver’s or professional licenses.

Connect with a Knowledgeable Child Support Attorney

Missed child support payments can quickly snowball from bad to worse. Don’t wait to seek help from an experienced family law attorney. With an understanding advisor on your side, you can avoid the harshest penalties and work toward resolution of any child support issues.

Every situation is unique. But in many cases, proactive legal guidance can help put you back on the right track. Providing financial support for the wellbeing of your children is the ultimate goal. An attorney can help minimize disruptive legal actions so you can stay focused on your parental responsibilities.

Going it alone against failure to pay allegations is unwise. The input of a knowledgeable lawyer can make all the difference. Contact a qualified family law attorney today to discuss your child support situation. With expert legal help, you can move forward and provide your children the financial care they deserve.


Learn more about failure to pay child support charges:

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