Whether you are preparing to make your first child support payment or you have paid support for many years, it is vital to understand the importance of staying current and the penalties you could face for falling behind. Back child support could turn your life upside down in many ways, and lead to enforcement actions that have short-term and long-term consequences.
If you are having difficulty making child support payments, or worry that you will fall behind in the near future, it is also important to familiarize yourself with strategies to avoid becoming delinquent.
Child support enforcement in California
According to California’s Child Support Services, back child support can lead to a number of serious penalties. The state has many tools to enforce child support orders, such as suspending a delinquent parent’s driver’s license, placing a lien on their bank account or property and intercepting their tax refund or lottery winnings.
Furthermore, you could lose your passport, occupational and recreational licenses if you do not pay child support. Back child support could even lead to contempt of court charges and the possibility of time behind bars.
Dealing with child support payment difficulties
If you have a hard time paying child support, you could benefit from setting up a payment plan and taking steps to set aside money to ensure that you pay in full. However, this does not always solve the problem. If you lost your job or face serious financial challenges for another reason, you might have the ability to modify your child support order, and this could help you stay current.