After a divorce, if you were the primary breadwinner, you’re probably
going to get slapped with having to pay child support. Most of the time,
you’re going to be making monthly payments until the child is 18
years old or your ex-wife remarries. The trouble is that child support
amounts are determined solely by what has happened in your financial history
and not what
may happen. If you lose your job in the next year, what are you supposed to
do then? Can you just stop paying child support?
Of course, you can just flat-out refuse to pay child support, but legal
repercussions may follow. If a court finds that your refusal to pay was
willful, meaning that you had the means to pay the monthly sums but chose
not to, you will be facing punishments similar to a criminal conviction.
In some cases, you’d be in jail until you could pay off the child
support owed, up to five years.
Beyond simple refusal, though, you might be strapped for cash and unable
to pay child support due to a general lack of finance. There are a few
procedures that the state could use against you to collect the child support,
Wage garnishment: An estimated 75% of all child support collected in Florida State is done
so through wage garnishment. By taking money right out paychecks and passing
it onto the other parent, child support payments are ensured while other
necessities are not.
Credit collections: Credit collection agencies can be recruited to pursue any arrears, or
money owed that was meant to be paid earlier. A consequence of this route
is that failure to pay child support may damage your credit score.
License suspension: In certain circumstances, the state may temporarily suspend your license
until you complete any owed child support payments.
Withheld winnings: If you owe your ex-wife for child support payments and you win a state
lottery, or if the state owes you for tax refunds, you will not be granted
any money. Additionally, it may take earnings straight out of such sources
and give them to the owed party directly.
If you can’t pay for child support, whatever the reasons, it is clear
that the odds are not in your favor, and that the law seems to be tilted
towards your ex-wife. But the punishments the state can enact against
you may just cripple you, rather than push you in the right direction.
If you’ve been unable to pay for child support and have been punished
by the state,
contact Tampa divorce Attorney Catherine W. Real. She can stand up for your rights as a divorced father and help you defend
yourself from harsh punishments and unrealistic expectations. Don’t
delay. Call (813) 867-7936 right now.