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Child Support: Consequences for Failure to Pay & Options for Unfair Judgments

Child support payments are an important aspect in the divorce or separation process, but often times one parent is laden with a substantially disproportionate financial responsibility towards the child's upbringing. If you've been the victim of such a ruling, it is imperative you understand the consequences regarding failure to pay, and what options are available to help alleviate your financial burdens.


If you fail to pay child support, or even if you are simply late in making payments, the courts can truly wreak havoc on your life. Not only can the courts garnish your wages, they can suspend your license. This will this significantly impede your ability to make a living, and what little money you can make will likely be forfeited to your ex-spouse and allocated toward child support.

Certain penalties may also apply, and while it is rare, individuals who repeatedly fail to pay child support may even be thrown in jail. Bottom line, whatever child support payments your current agreement calls for must be made on time.

Help With Unfair Child Support

For those that have been unfairly charged with paying inordinately high child support, there are a few options that can help alleviate such burdens.

Request for Child Support Modification

A child support modification is typically reserved for those individuals who have struggled to make good on their child support obligations as a result of some other hardship. In lieu of any hardships you might have experienced in recent months, the court may lower or alter the existing child support agreement.

Generally, hardships include things like the loss of one's job or a significant reduction in income. However, any medical bills you recently incurred might also warrant a reduction in the amount of child support you're required to pay each month. A child support attorney can help determine what constitutes undue hardship.

Fraudulently Accepted Child Support

You are also entitled to any monies you forfeited as child support that were collected under fraudulent circumstances.

In certain instances, the spouse receiving child support payments may fail to advise the spouse making payments that his or her financial situation has improved, not only out of fear that the child support payments will stop, but that he or she will become liable for returning child support payments previously received.

If your significant other failed to inform you of a change in financial circumstances that would have otherwise eliminated your need to provide child support payments, than you might be legally entitled to any monies you sent after said change in financial situation occurred.

Overall, child support can be a complex and emotional component of divorce or separation, and more so for those individuals who have been wrongly saddled with disproportionate financial obligations. A child support attorney can help you lower child support payments and return monies that dishonest ex-spouses had no right to collect.