It's possible that you are recently divorced, and while you may be sharing custody of your child, it's you that is responsible for paying child support to your ex-spouse. This is mostly due to your wage most likely being higher than your ex-spouse and so the courts have deemed you responsible for helping to support your child when they are not in your custody.
What happens if you fail to pay that child support? There could be many reasons why you may not be able to make the payments including illness, loss of your job, an accident, or unexpected medical bills. Regardless of the reasons why you may not be able to pay child support, there are legal and financial consequences you should consider.
Contact a child support attorney to help you if you find you are unable to make the payments. Here are some of the consequences you could face.
You Could Have A Criminal Record
If you fail to make child support payments, you could be charged and convicted of a misdemeanor offense in many states. This means you will have a criminal record that could affect your ability to work, get a job, or even travel outside of the country. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense, you will most likely have to pay a fine and then find a way to make up those payments.
If what you owe exceeds thousands of dollars over several years, it's possible you could face felony charges. This would mean you would have to pay a much higher fine and potentially spend time in prison.
If you are at risk of being charged with not paying child support, contact a child support attorney to help you work with the courts and your ex-spouse for ways to help you catch up on payments.
Your Wages Could Be Garnished
If you haven't paid your child support payments in some time, your wages could be garnished by court order. If you have been having trouble paying due to an illness or had your hours cut at your job, so you are bringing home less income, you need to contact a child support attorney right away and explain the situation to them instead of stopping your child support payments.
If your case goes to court, the judge will decide on what they believe is a fair amount to garnish from your wages and it could leave you lacking in funds for other necessities such as rent or mortgage, food, and other bills.