When you become a parent, it is your legal and moral duty to care for your child until they can be self-dependence. And most parents take up this responsibility without the involvement of third parties. But when there is a breakdown in the parents’ relationship leading to a divorce, the court may step in to determine how the child will be provided for.
Subject to the custody and parenting plan, the court may direct one parent to pay child support. But what happens if you fail to honor a court-ordered child support order?
A child support order is binding
Like any court order, child support is binding. Failure to pay child support as stipulated by the court can result in serious legal and personal consequences. Per California statute, here are some of the legal consequences you will contend with if you do not pay child support:
- Your wages may be garnished
- Your tax return can be seized
- A lien may be placed on your real property and accounts
- Your driver’s or boating license may be withdrawn
- You may not obtain or renew your passport
- You may serve jail time
In short, the court has some broad abilities to enforce child support payments.
What remedies do you have if you cannot pay child support?
Life has its share of ups and downs. A loss of a job or source of income, an illness or a family situation can take a toll on your finances making it difficult for you to keep up with your child support obligation.
If any of these happen to you, do not sit back and do nothing about it. Instead, let the court know what is going on. The court may allow you to modify the existing child support order.