Can a Parent Lose Custody for Not Paying Child Support?
Paying child support is your obligation when you are a noncustodial parent. If you ignore court orders and stop paying child support or make payments late, you could be punished. If you are struggling 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 that are in their best interests, you are not going to be considered an unfit parent for paying child support late a few times.
However, if you make late payments or nonpayment a habit, your spouse can bring you to court. A judge can subject you to many different types of punishment 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 it is even harder to make child support payments from jail, so it’s not exactly 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 being placed on your property
- Your wages 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 the loss of your custody rights. Instead, talk to your lawyer and ask about a modification to your agreement.
Can Late Payments Affect My Credit?
Your credit score could also suffer if you stop paying child support. The court can actually have your missing payments reported to credit agencies. Normally, these agencies would not track something like this if you were making 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 bring down your credit score and make it more difficult 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.