24 Aug What Happens When You Don’t Pay Child Support?
Parents are responsible for ensuring the well-being of their children. If a couple is going through a divorce, they must agree on a childcare plan that works for all parties. Child support is typically a part of these agreements. Under Washington State law, the primary caregiver is entitled to funds that allow them to take care of the child as needed. This article will explain what happens when you don’t pay child support. This piece will show that falling behind on payments willfully is not just against the law–it’s also not in the best interest of your child.
One consequence of not paying child support on time is that it collects interest. As such, after a certain period of nonpayment, payments can become astronomical. Washington State law also dictates that courts can pursue you for up to 10 years after your child turns 18. Since payments can increase if they are past due, it is wise to pay everything on time. The law also states that parents who choose not to work are still responsible for providing child support, so even unemployed parents must find a way to make payments on time.
Contempt of Court
You can receive jail time for not paying child support. If the amount becomes significant, and the courts are unable to reach you after multiple attempts, they can hold you in contempt of court. Your sentence will depend on how significant the amount is and how cooperative you are with courtroom officials. Also, if your ex’s lawyer has evidence of your lack of cooperation, this could affect the decision of the judge.
Suspended License & Other Penalties
Parents who do not pay child support can have their driver’s license suspended. Depending on how backlogged the payments are, this suspension can last for quite a while. Another penalty when you don’t pay child support is wage garnishments. People who are employed and not making timely payments may see expenses taken out of their paychecks. Again, it is much better for everyone if you make the payments when they are due.
Negotiating child support is an incredibly time-consuming process. That is why it is a wise idea to hire a trusted child support lawyer in Washington State to guide you through this journey. The team at LaCoste Family Law will help you deal with an uncooperative ex so that you can get the payments you and your child need.