Can You Go to Jail for Failing to Pay Child Support?

In some states, there are penalties for not paying child support, including jail time, interest and the revocation of licenses. Whether or not these types of penalties are appropriate in your case depends on many different factors, so it’s best to consult with a lawyer to find out.

Whether you are a parent with children or a friend or relative of someone who is, you have to be familiar with the consequences of not paying child support. A failure to pay can have far-reaching effects on your life. You may face fines, a driver’s license suspension, or even jail time.

For parents with a child under 18, the duty to pay is not only expected but legal. However, paying can be tough. Not only are you required to make payments, but you must also provide for your child’s other needs. For example, you must provide proper housing, food, and medical care. Depending on the state, you may be required to pay a portion of your income toward your child support obligation.

In most states, the law requires both parents to make payments. You can ask your court for a modification if you are struggling to meet your obligations. If you have changed your circumstances since the court ordered you to pay, your judge might reduce your payment amount or require you to pay only half of your obligation.

If you are facing the suspension or revocation of your license due to non-payment of child support, there are many options available to you. You can request a hearing, request a judicial review, or simply work with the child support agency to get your license back on track. If you are unsure about how to respond to this type of action, consult an experienced Houston family law attorney for help.

In addition to the court’s ability to suspend your driver’s license, you also have the right to appeal your suspension within 20 days. If you are challenged, you must provide evidence of current child support obligations. Similarly, you must show that you can make satisfactory alternative payment arrangements.

If your license is suspended, you will need to apply for a restricted use license. This can be obtained at most Motor Vehicles offices. This type of license cannot be used to drive to work, school, or medical appointments.

Registrars have a certain degree of discretion in remitting late payment penalties for not paying child support. The Registrar may remit a late payment penalty in part or in full depending on the plethora of factors affecting the parent. This includes the circumstances surrounding the late payment and the parent’s payment history.

The Registrar may remit the late payment in a number of different ways, including by depositing the money into the local registry’s account or by transmitting the payment electronically to the obligee’s account. The Registrar also has the option of not remitting the late payment penalty if it can be demonstrated that the obligor is abusing the system, including writing checks drawn on insufficient funds.

Aside from making payments to the local registry, the obligor can make direct payments to the obligee’s bank account. The Registrar may also decide to accept a facsimile or conformed copy of the court order as proof of payment.

The legal responsibility of a parent to provide for the care of their children is referred to as custody. Custody may be shared, or it may be sole. Both of these arrangements are made by a court. If there is a dispute over custody, the parents can petition the court to modify the order.

Visitation rights are separate from the child support obligations that a parent must meet. While a custodial parent cannot prohibit the other parent from seeing their children, they can limit the number of visits a noncustodial parent can have. If the other parent fails to pay child support, the custodial parent can file a petition to enforce the payment.

The court determines the terms of visitation and can grant or deny the other parent visitation privileges. The terms are usually outlined in a court decree. In some cases, the court can also limit the time that the other parent can spend with their children. If the other parent does not follow the terms of the visitation order, they can be subject to criminal charges.