If the court orders you to pay child support, you have to pay the stipulated amounts. Otherwise, stiff consequences may follow, and both you and your loved ones will suffer. Here are some of the aspects of your life that may suffer if you don’t pay child support.
Most of the consequences of unpaid child support will affect you indirectly, but some of them may affect you indirectly. The most obvious indirect effect is that your children may suffer. If the court used the right parameters to determine the child support you should pay, then your children need the money, and they may suffer if you pay up.
A default on child support payments may affect your credit score. If you don’t pay child support for some time, the collection agency responsible for your case may report your default to the credit companies. Don’t forget that credit scores are crucial in many aspects of your life.
Without a good credit score, you may struggle to rent a home, get loans, and even sign up for credit cards. In fact, a credit score even determines your auto insurance rates, so a low credit score is something you should take seriously.
If you don’t show a commitment to pay up the child support you owe, then the collection agency can go after your licenses. For example, the authorities might suspend your driving license; imagine how much you would suffer if you use your car daily. Other licenses the authorities may suspend are professional licenses, fishing license, and hunting license, among others.
Properties and Incomes
Even your properties are not safe from the hands of the authorities if you don’t pay court-ordered child support. The other parent has the right to go back to court and seek child support in any way possible. One of these ways is for the court to withhold your income or place liens on your properties.
For example, if you have a pension, job wages, or even tax income refund, the government can intercept the payments and use them to settle your child support dues. Alternatively, the authorities can place liens on your physical properties such as car, boat, or house so that you can’t sell the properties before you settle the child support debts.
If you don’t pay child support for more than a month, you have to settle the original debt plus the applicable interest charges. Thus, the longer you delay the payments, the more child support you owe. The current interest rate is 0.5% per month (6% per year). Therefore, if you owe $10,000 for a year, you have to pay $10,600 (the original $10,000 plus $600 interest).
You might not think much of government services if you have access to the services, but you don’t want to lose access to them. Unfortunately, you can lose access to multiple government services if you don’t pay child support. For example, the government may deny you access to educational grants or small-business loans that other members of the public have access to.
Lastly, the government may also prefer criminal actions against you if you default on your child support obligations. Criminal actions are particularly possible if the government thinks you are intentionally out to dodge child support payments. In such a case, the authorities can charge you with contempt of court, and you may pay a monetary fine or go to jail if the court convicts you.
Always strive to meet your child support obligations even if you have financial difficulties. If you don’t have the means to make the payments, petition the court for a modification before you stop or reduce the payments. The Law Offices of Thomas Marola can help you with the petition; contact us as soon as possible so you can avoid a default.