Parents who are responsible for making child support payments can sometimes face financial hardships. For example, you may lose your job or have your work hours reduced, both of which can make it hard to stay current on your child support obligations.
Unfortunately, some of these parents stop paying child support because they feel they need time to get back on their financial feet. However, ceasing your payments, even for a short time, is not a wise decision. If you stop your payments, the state will take steps to recover the support funds you owe your child.
Child support enforcement measures
The Bureau of Child Support Enforcement (BCSE) is responsible for ensuring that children receive support from both parents. The custodial parent contributes by paying for some day-to-day expenses. The noncustodial parent contributes by making court-ordered payments.
If you stop paying, the BCSE may use one or more of the following enforcement measures to collect delinquent child support:
- Intercepting your tax refunds
- Issuing court orders mandating that you find work
- Reporting you for nonpayment to credit bureaus
- Ordering your bank or other institutions to hand over your money
- Publishing your name and your delinquency in news outlets
- Placing liens on any real estate you own
- Intercepting financial winnings and government benefits (workers’ comp, etc.)
- Suspending your driver’s license and professional licenses
- Ordering you to serve time behind bars
As you can see, failing to pay child support will only worsen the situation for you and your child. A better option is to learn about possibly modifying your child support order. If you are eligible for this solution, you can pay less now and pay more when your financial circumstances improve.