What Happens if You Don’t Pay Child Support

Child support lawyers help parents to address the difficult issues associated with child support. One of the biggest concerns that is faced by parents is what happens when child support is not paid. The parent receiving support is often concerned about how to enforce the laws requiring support. The parent who is required to pay, however, may be concerned about the consequences when he or she becomes unable to meet his obligations. 

If you cannot or will not pay child support, there are very serious consequences that you may have to face. Rather than being forced to live with penalties for nonpayment, you should take prompt action if you become unable to meet your support obligations.

Scottsdale child support lawyers can help you to petition the court for a modification of your support amount and can assist you in making sure you make the strongest possible arguments for why you should no longer have to pay what is required.

Singer Pistiner, P.C. has extensive experience helping parents with all child support matters. Whether you need assistance in enforcing a support order or want help because you cannot pay, we are here to offer you the advice you need. Call our child support lawyers a call today to find out more.

What If You Do Not Pay Child Support?

According to the Arizona Department of Economic Security: “Arizona law gives the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) the authority for many enforcement remedies. However, DCSS is required to notify parents before taking many enforcement actions.”

Among the remedies that Arizona Child Support Services can use to try to collect support include:

  • Administrative Income Withholding Order
  •  State Tax Refund Offset
  • Asset seizure
  • Reporting to the credit bureau
  • Putting liens on property
  • Lottery winning offsets
  • Suspension or revocation of licenses
  • Referral to court
  • Contempt of court
  • State or federal criminal prosecution

There are also federal enforcement remedies, including a tax refund offset and passport denial. These consequences can have a profound impact because you could end up losing the ability to drive, losing the ability to work, and losing your property. Your credit could be damaged, and you could even end up in jail if you are prosecuted for nonpayment.

You don’t want to end up being forced by penalty of law to pay support, so instead you should make sure that your support order is fair and that you can pay the amount which is due to help support your children.

Ideally, the time to argue for a fair support order is when you first separate from the child’s other parent. A standard formula is used to determine support, which takes into account things like your income and the other parent’s income; the number of children, and your other fixed and essential expenses. If you have high costs or are spending a lot of time with your kids and providing for them during this time, you can try to make an argument for a low support amount that you can afford.

If you have a support order in place, you’ll have to continue to follow that order, even if it becomes difficult to pay the amount that is due. You can immediately begin to face consequences for missed payments, despite the fact that you may have a very legitimate reason for being unable to pay the support amount.  You should petition as quickly as possible for a modification of the support amount.

The court will grant a modification if you can show there has been a material change in circumstances which means your old support order is no longer fair or appropriate. Having another child, losing a job, experiencing a reduction in income, or becoming disabled are all possible reasons why the court may be willing to lower your support order.  You will need to provide evidence and substantiating information to prove why you cannot pay the amount that you were previously required to pay.

How Can Scottsdale Child Support Lawyers Help?

Because the penalties for nonpayment of child support can be so serious, those who are supposed to pay but can’t should talk with Scottsdale child support lawyers as soon as possible about what their options are for getting a support order changed.

Singer Pistiner, P.C. has helped many parents to reduce the amount of support that is due because their child support payments are too much of a financial burden. To learn more about how our legal team can help you to get your required support amount changed, give us a call at (480) 418-7011 or contact us online.


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