Can a Parent Lose Custody for Not Paying Child Support?

Can a Parent Lose Custody for Not Paying Child Support?

paying child support

Can a Parent Lose Custody for Not Paying Child Support?

Paying child support is your obligation as a noncustodial parent. You could be punished if you ignore court orders, stop paying child support, or make payments late. If you struggle to pay, you are better off addressing the matter and speaking to our Chatham child support attorneys. We can help you deal with this before you lose visitation rights, have a lien placed against your property, or end up in jail.

Can I Lose Visitation Rights or Legal Custody If I’m Not Paying Child Support?

You can eventually lose your right to visit your child and perhaps even your legal custody, but those types of consequences are probably far off. Paying child support is not the only thing that a parent can do. If you are also helping to meet your child’s needs and making other decisions in their best interests, you will not be considered an unfit parent for paying child support late a few times.

However, your spouse can sue you if you habitually make late or nonpayment. A judge can punish you severely if you do not take this obligation seriously. So, if you are struggling to pay, you should talk to a lawyer and ask your ex and the court for a modification to the existing agreement.

Can I Be Jailed for Not Paying Child Support?

You actually can be jailed for not paying child support. This is often a last resort of the court though. The logic here is that making child support payments from jail is even more complex, so it’s not an ideal solution. The court could try to pressure you to pay in other ways. Common court orders in this kind of situation could result in:

  • A lien is being placed on your property
  • Your wages are being garnished for back child support
  • The loss of your driver’s license

If all else fails, you can be held in contempt of court and have a warrant issued for your arrest. There is no good reason to go to jail over child support payments and risk losing your custody rights. Instead, talk to your lawyer and ask about modifying your agreement.

Can Late Payments Affect My Credit?

Your credit score could also suffer if you stop paying child support. The court can have your missing payments reported to credit agencies. Usually, these agencies would not track something like this if you made each payment on time. However, the court can make it so that they treat late child support payments like late car payments or credit card payments. That will reduce your credit score and make it more challenging to make big purchases, like new cars or a home.

Contact a Family Lawyer

Do not let this situation spiral out of control. Contact Lazor Rantas, PC, and see what we can do to help you with your child support arrangement. Schedule a consultation today.

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