Child support is always a touchy subject. Often a person’s actual financial situation isn’t taken into consideration when the amount of child support is set. There is also the constant complaint that the child support isn’t going to the child, but rather being used for other purposes. The arguments over child support are often intense and in the end, the parties on either side are unhappy with the result.
It doesn’t matter how unhappy you are about having to pay child support, it’s something you want to stay on top of because failing to do so can result in numerous legal headaches.
It doesn’t matter what you might have on your plate, paying your court-ordered child support should be your first priority. Failing to make the payments on time and in full doesn’t just ruin your credit report, it’s breaking the law. No matter what type of financial hardships you encounter, you need to stay on top of those payments. As soon as you realize that you’re going to have a problem, contact the court so something else can be arranged, but don’t miss a payment while you wait for your hearing with the family judge.
Failing to pay your child support in California has severe legal consequences. In most cases, the state decides to suspend your driver’s license until the payments are caught up. This means that you can’t legally drive. If you’re caught driving without a valid license, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor, get hit with more fines, and potentially be arrested. The state could also create a levy on your bank account, meaning that they will simply withdraw the amount of the outstanding child support payments. They could also cancel your passport.
In extreme cases, people who fail to pay child support in California are arrested. This usually happens when there is a long history of missed child support payments. Failure to pay child support can result in a one-year jail sentence and a $2,000 fine.
Considering the severe consequences of being late with a child support payment, it’s in your best interest to notify the court as soon as you realize you’re in a financial bind.