Child support payments are court-ordered, also known as mandated. Whether the parent doesn’t have the money to pay or has the money but has decided not to pay doesn’t matter.
Consequences of unpaid child support include: • Interest and fines • Legal hearing • Garnished wages or tax refunds Revoked licenses (driver and professional) • Jail (amount of time depends on the severity of the crime)
Rarely would a judge or magistrate automatically have a parent arrested after their first missed child support payment. One reason is that a locked-up parent can’t share custody with their co-parent, which the court system believes is best for children.
Plus, that parent loses out on potential work and wages, resulting in a snowball effect of missed child support payments.
What usually happens is the court system and law enforcement work together to withhold a parent’s wages and federal tax refunds to fund child support payments. And even before that, the court system would hold a hearing to interview both co-parents and determine causes and solutions.
The best defense is a good, proactive offense. If one co-parent foresees a problem paying child support on time, they should discuss the matter with their ex first.
Apps for divorced parents can help them record, share, and discuss finances neutrally. The unalterable spending documents can help them and their legal and financial advisors plan for repayments and negotiate future settlements. Helpful Hint: Most co-parenting apps are court-approved.
What usually happens instead is the court system and law enforcement work together to garnish (withhold) a parent’s wages and federal tax refunds to fund child support payments. And even before that, the court system would hold a hearing to interview both co-parents and determine causes and solutions.
For any co-parent thinking they can’t afford child support, the costs of not paying it are even higher.
For starters, interest and fines start adding to the amount the parent owes. Then, that parent’s employer would learn of the criminal offense when they get notified to withhold the employee’s earnings.
Lost driver’s and professional licenses further affect their ability to make money and pay bills and child support. More and more missed payments from declining earnings could eventually land them in jail. Jail time drastically affects their reputation, future jobs, and profits.
Fines and jail sentences vary based on the severity of the offense. More minor offenses are classified as misdemeanors. On average, fines can range from $2,000 to $5,000, with up to six months of jail time served in a county jail or workhouse.
More significant offenses are classified as felonies. In these instances, the offending party can serve up to 18 months in a state facility.
Proper communication between co-parents is so vital. Being proactive and upfront about finances is the best way to work through issues to arrive at agreeable terms.
Communicating through a co-parenting app is the best way to exchange information automatically and reliably. Apps for the divorced family can assist with: • Communicating peacefully • Scheduling the child's activities • Keeping track of finances