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What are the Repercussions for Withholding Child Support?

Published on December 28th, 2017

When children are involved, going through a divorce, which is already incredibly emotional and stressful, becomes even more difficult. You may be wondering how long it will be before you receive the first child support payment; or what will happen if your child’s parent doesn’t pay when they are supposed to? Unfortunately, the length of time it could take to receive payment can vary, especially if you are caught up in a lengthy and contentious custody battle with your ex.

Child Support Helps to Care for the Children

It is a big expense to take care of a child. The purpose behind child support payments are to help keep the child’s life as intact as possible despite the divorce. Just because you and your partner have decided to call it quits, does not mean that your child should have to give up aspects of their life that they have become accustomed to. Children require many things throughout their upbringing including:

  • Medical Care
  • School supplies
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Extracurricular activities (i.e. dance, soccer)

Child support helps the custodial parent in paying for the necessities of the child. Regardless of where a child is living, financial support of the child is the responsibility of both parents. In some situations, parents fail to make their child support payments. This varies from late payments to, none at all. This can have a deep impact on both the custodial parent who may be relying on child support and the child who will inturn, be impacted. Fortunately, there are some ways to collect child support through the courts if this occurs.

Enforcing Child Support

There are a number of options that can help to collect the child support payments you are in need of. Specific agencies are designated to help gather payments. They will use a number of strategies to secure payment, such as:

  • Tax Refunds: It is possible to receive your ex spouse’s tax refund. An attorney can look at your case and potentially help you collect money from your ex’s refund.
  • Jail Time: Your child’s parent could be required to serve time in jail if they do not pay the child support that is owed to you and your child.
  • Driver’s License: If a person is not paying child support, they could lose their license. This is used as a strategy to encourage a person to make the payments they owe.
  • Wage Garnishment: In some situations, child support is collected through the garnishment of the person’s wages.

There may be options available to you if you find that you aren’t receiving child support payments from your ex spouse. You may find it helpful to contact a child custody lawyer Phoenix AZ recommends if you have not been receiving child support from your child’s parent.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hildebrand Law for their insight into child custody.


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