Child support can be costly. And in the current economic climate, your income and employment may be insecure. You may be tempted to skip your child support payments for a month or two, until things turn around for you. But you should know that delinquent child support can have serious consequences on many other aspects of your life:
- Lower credit rating: Missed child support payments can be reported to credit bureaus, which can lower your credit score by 100 points or more.
- License revocation: You could lose your driver’s license, professional license and even be prohibited from getting or renewing your passport.
- Loss of property: The Division of Child Support (DCS) can file liens against your property – including your car, your home and the contents of your safety deposit box. If you continue to fail to pay the money you owe, they could seize this property from you.
- Contempt of court: If you are held in contempt for failing to pay child support, you could face fines or even jail time.
- Criminal charges: You may be surprised to learn that if you continue to avoid payment over the long term, you could face criminal charges for your delinquency. This would go on your permanent criminal record – which would make it more difficult for you to get a job
What to do instead
If your financial situation has changed, and you’re going to have trouble making your child support payments, you may be able to seek a modification to your child support order. It’s important to report your change in circumstances right away, to avoid any of the consequences listed above.