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The potential consequences of not making child support payments

| Apr 23, 2020 | Child Custody |

According to a 2018 Census Bureau report, only 43.5% of custodial parents in Ohio and across America receive the full amount of child support that they are owed. Noncustodial parents who fail to pay child support could be subject to a variety of penalties. For instance, they may have their wages garnished until they have paid their past-due balances in full. Individuals could also have fines and penalties added to the amount that they typically owe each month.

In extreme cases, a parent could be sent to jail for not paying child support on time. The jail sentence typically ends when an individual is able to pay the amount that he or she owes to the custodial parent. However, those who are in jail generally cannot work or otherwise generate an income to make these payments. It can also leave them with less money to make future payments with.

Parents could be sentenced to up to two years in federal prison after moving to a different state for the purposes of evading child support payments. This sentence is generally reserved for those who owe more than $10,000 or who haven’t made a support payment in more than two years. Parents who owe $5,000 or more and haven’t made payments in a year or longer could face six months in a federal prison.

Individuals who owe child support may be able to ask for a modification of their current orders. This may make it easier to make future payments in a timely manner or catch up on balances that are currently in arrears. An attorney may be able to review the case and help a parent convince a judge that he or she has experienced a change in circumstances since the current order was created.