Child support is one of the most important considerations during a divorce, and it is a legal obligation that parents must take seriously. For failing to pay child support in North Carolina, you could face serious consequences. In this article, we will look at what can happen when you do not pay child support in North Carolina.
What is Child Support?
Child support is a court-ordered payment that a non-custodial parent makes to the custodial parent. Its purpose is to provide for the child’s financial needs, which includes food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical expenses. Child support is calculated based on several factors, including the income of both parents, the number of children, and the custody arrangement.
Consequences of Not Paying Pay Child Support in North Carolina
If you fail to pay child support, it can result in serious consequences. The state of North Carolina takes child support very seriously, and they have several enforcement mechanisms in place to ensure parents meet their financial obligations.
One of the most common enforcement mechanisms the state of North Carolina uses is wage garnishment. This means the court will order your employer to take the child support payments from your paycheck and send them directly to the custodial parent.
If you do not pay child support, the state of North Carolina may place a lien on your property. This means that if you sell property, the money you earn from the sale will be used to pay off your child support debt.
Driver’s License Suspension
If you owe more than three months of child support, the state of North Carolina can suspend your driver’s license. This means that you cannot drive legally until you have paid your child support debt.
If you owe more than $2,500 in child support, the state of North Carolina can deny your passport application or revoke your existing passport. This means you can’t travel outside of the United States until you have paid your child support debt.
Contempt of Court
If you continue to fail to pay child support despite court orders, you may be found in contempt of court. This means that you could face fines, community service, or even jail time.
Seizure of Assets
If you owe a significant amount of child support, the state of North Carolina may seize your assets to pay off your debt. This could include your bank accounts, investments, and other assets.
If you owe a large amount of child support and continue to fail to pay, you could face criminal charges. This is a felony offense in North Carolina, and you could face significant fines and even prison time.
What Should You Do If You Can’t Pay Child Support?
If you are struggling to pay child support, it is essential to take action immediately. The worst thing to do is ignore the problem and hope it will go away. Here are some steps you can take:
Contact Your Attorney
If you are having trouble paying child support, the first thing you should do is contact your attorney. Your attorney can help you explore your options and come up with a plan to resolve the situation.
If you are experiencing a significant change to your financial situation, like a job loss or a decrease in income, you may be able to seek a modification of your child support order. This could result in a lower child support payment that is more manageable for you.
Negotiate with the Other Parent
If possible, try to negotiate with the other parent. You might be able to agree to an alternative payment arrangement that is more manageable for both parties.
If you are struggling to pay child support, there are several resources available that can help. The North Carolina Child Support Enforcement Program provides a variety of services, including locating absent parents, establishing paternity, and enforcing child support orders. They can also help connect you with other resources, such as job training and education programs.
It’s important to remember that child support is a legal obligation that must be taken seriously. If you fail to pay child support in North Carolina, you could face serious consequences. However, if you are experiencing financial difficulties, there are options available to help you. It’s essential to take action and communicate with your attorney and the other parent to find a solution that works for everyone involved.
Marshall & Taylor PLLC Are Here to Help
If you are struggling to pay child support, seek help immediately and explore your options for modification or negotiation. Remember, the well-being of your child is at stake, and meeting your child support obligations is a critical part of being a responsible parent. Contact Marshall & Taylor PLLC at (919) 833-1040 today.