Unpaid child support can result in serious penalties

Unpaid child support can result in serious penalties

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Support on Thursday, June 6, 2019.

It goes without saying that child support is meant to ensure that a child’s best interests can be met and that the responsibility of raising a child is shared as equally as possible amongst a child’s parents. Yet, while the focus of child support is on a child, and rightfully so, the issue can have serious ramifications for adults. The amount of child support owed can cause financial strain to either a custodial or noncustodial parent depending on the circumstances and the specifics of a child support order, but those who accumulate arrearages can face additional penalties that can wreak havoc on their lives.

One Missouri man’s case serves as an example of how devastating child support issues can be. The man, who served 12 years in prison, secured a job as a trucker which, due to his criminal record, was one of the better jobs he could obtain. While the man was in prison, though, his child support obligation to his two children remained unchanged. As a result, he acquired significant arrearages.

Then, one day while he was on the road for his job, he received a phone call from his boss informing him that his license had been suspended by the state due to unpaid child support. He lost his job on the spot and had to wait for someone to come pick him up in a different state. All this came after his children had already reached the age of majority.

Although penalties like license suspension have been used as tactics to collect child support debt, in reality it often works counter to the purpose of child support. A suspended license can affect an individual’s ability to earn a wage, which makes it challenging to pay on a child support obligation. This is why it is critical to seek child support modification as soon as changed circumstances affect an individual’s ability to pay on his or her obligation. A legal advocate who is skilled in this area of the law can assist with that process and help defend against any action taken by the state for unpaid child support. This is the best way to ensure that individuals don’t face a fate similar to the man discussed above.

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