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What Could Happen if I Don’t Pay Child Support?

What happens if I don't make child support payments?You could face a series of harsh punishments for failing to make child support payments on time. There are multiple tools and methods to collect past-due payments for a child support order in California. Child support enforcement actions can thrust you into a dire legal and financial situation. The consequences for failing to pay child support might include:

  • Contempt of court: If it is discovered that you are able to pay child support and ignored a valid court order, then you could be found in contempt of court.
  • Wage garnishment: Your employer could receive an order to withhold a portion of your pay to satisfy past-due child support payments. Tax refunds may also be garnished.
  • Financial levies: Your bank accounts may be frozen for failing to make child support payments.
  • Property liens: A lien could be placed on a piece of property, such as a home, to satisfy unpaid child support payments.
  • Lowered credit scores: Past-due child support payments might be reported to the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This information could be posted on your three credit reports, which could hurt your credit scores.
  • License suspension: If you have a professional license, it could be suspended for failing to make payments. Your driver’s license might also be suspended.
  • Passport denial: Do you travel internationally? Your passport could be denied until you become current on child support payments.

Should I Seek Child Support Modification?

If you believe you are unable to make child support payments, then you must take quick action. The consequences of failing to make payments are severe, even if you believe the payments are excessive. It may be possible to receive a modification to lower your payments.

A family law attorney can help you determine the best course of action for modifying child support payments. If you have questions about child support payments, then please call our San Jose family law attorneys at (408)296-4100. You can also describe your situation by filling out our online form. The Law Office of Daniel Jensen, LLP. is here to help.


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