For couples, coming to agreements during a divorce is difficult and requires both parties to make compromises. A particularly difficult subject that many couples must confront is child support. While discussing child support, communication is paramount and both parties must be able to come to an amount that is fair to the parent with custody and affordable for the noncustodial parent. Factors such as annual income, education level, and other financial obligations can shape the dollar amount that is ultimately agreed upon. If a parent fails to honor the child support agreement, the other parent is left to deal with the full financial burden of care. Neglecting to meet the required child support payments in a timely fashion is a serious legal issue and carries far-reaching consequences that can impede a parent’s job prospects and income.
Fines are one of the main penalties for failing to pay child support. Failing to pay on time can carry a fine that rolls over continually. Over a period of time, this dollar amount can exceed the price of a monthly child support payment.
Wage garnishment is another penalty for failure to pay child support, and an effective way of getting that money to the parent who needs it. Wage garnishment occurs when money is taken directly out of someone’s paycheck and redirected to the parent in need. This prevents the payer from spending the money on something else instead of on their child support payments. Though wage garnishment happens discreetly, it can often bring a personal matter into the workplace for people, which is why it is something that most parents want to avoid. Wage garnishment, however, is an incredibly effective way to ensure that the payments are made. Extracting money from tax returns is another common way the state enforces child support agreements. If the parent who isn’t making payments stands to make money on their tax return, it is within the parameters of the law to redistribute that money toward child support payments.
This can occur if payments are missed too many times. The State Department can deny a person seeking a passport if they are not taking care of their parental obligations. If a parent has the money needed to receive or renew a passport, it signifies that they likely have money to cover other more pressing financial obligations, such as child support. Before someone can enjoy the privileges that accompany international travel, they must cover their legal financial obligations. This can also prevent a parent from leaving the company and abandoning their financial obligation.
Driver’s License Loss
Losing your driver’s license is another life-altering penalty that can be imposed for failure to pay child support. Losing a drivers license can severely disrupt your life. Especially in rural areas, losing the ability to drive can prevent you from getting to and from work, therefore causing you to lose your income. This, obviously, can make it harder for a person to make the child support payments that put them in that situation to begin with. Additionally, not having a valid driver’s license can make voting difficult, if not impossible.
This is a possible penalty for failure to pay child support for members of the military. If you are in the military and you find yourself unable to cover your legal duties, you can seek help. A family lawyer will help you evaluate your options and modify your child support plan if possible.
What You Can Do If You Owe or Receive Child Support
If you are the recipient of child support payments and you have not been receiving the money you need, you should contact a lawyer right away. They can help you take your ex-partner to court and impose these penalties on them to ensure you and your child get the support you need and deserve. Your lawyer will be able to successfully demonstrate that the payments have been missed and that you still require the assistance.
If you are the payer of child support and have been missing your payments, a lawyer can also be a vital help to you. For parents who pay child support, lacking the money, unexpected expenses, or forgetfulness can be the culprit for late or missed payment. If a child support agreement is too expensive for the noncustodial parent, they are within their rights to discuss their case with a family lawyer. Child support modification is possible if the noncustodial parent’s financial situation has changed. As someone begins to make child support payments, they may need to find new strategies to ensure that they meeting their obligations. Learning how to better manage time and money can save parents from being penalized. A lawyer can help you negotiate your penalties down and modify your child support so that you are not put in a dire financial situation.
Whether you are a parent struggling to make your child support payments, or you are a parent suffering because the payments you need aren’t being made, you could benefit from speaking with an experienced family lawyer. If you are unable to make the payments legally required of you, a lawyer can help you explore options for making your plan more manageable or readjusting it. If you are a parent who is suffering due to your spouse not making the child support payments needed to raise your children, a lawyer can help you enforce your child support agreement.
The most important issue during child support disputes is ensuring that children have the support that they need. Contact the experienced North Carolina attorneys of Marshall & Taylor PLLC today to learn how to take care of your child in the most fair way for everyone involved. In the midst of child support trouble, we stay focused on making sure that your children are getting the financial support that they need to live good lives. Our compassionate legal team dedicates our time to helping families of North Carolina through difficult situations. We know how complex and painful child custody issues can be for families, which is why we use our legal skills to make the process as easy as possible. If you need help with your child custody agreement, call one of our child support lawyers today at (919) 833-1040 to discuss how we can help you.