Some 50 percent of children owed child support payments do not get them regularly… Yes, you read that correctly.

Whatever the emotions surrounding the divorce, the children are owed—not the custodial parent. When people do not make child support payments, they’re actually depriving their offspring—not their former spouse. This is why the consequences of failing to pay child support can be quite severe.

Garnishment of Wages, Tax Refunds & Other Payments

Your employer will be informed if you’re behind on child support and can be ordered to take the money from your pay—before you get it. In most cases, they take the full amount owed each month from your first paycheck of the month. This can have a disastrous impact on your monthly budget.

If you’re due state and federal tax refunds, those can also be taken and given to the child. Further, checking and savings accounts, as well as IRAs and mutual funds can also be seized to satisfy the obligation.

Payments from retirement funds, insurance claims and court judgments can be intercepted and diverted to the child as well. If the delinquent parent receives any financial benefits from the government, these too can be rerouted to the child.

License Suspension

Child support agencies report to Departments of Motor Vehicles when parents fall behind on child support payments. When an obligor (the parent responsible for payments) applies for renewal, their name is checked to ensure they’re up to date on child support payments. If they’re not, a renewal is refused until payments are brought up to date. This refusal can also be extended to professional, occupational and recreational (hunting and fishing) licenses.

Lien Imposition

Liens can be placed against properties for failure to pay. This includes houses, office buildings, retail building and undeveloped land. Personal property such as boats, planes, and automobiles to which title can be held is also subject to child support liens. Judges can order these actions to be taken without conducting hearings.

Arrest Warrants

If prosecutors become involved in cases of extreme arrears, arrest warrants can be issued. Because failure to pay child support violates federal statutes, these warrants are enforceable in all fifty states, as well as Puerto Rico and Guam.

Credit Reporting, Revocations & Imprisonment

Passports can also be revoked, and members of the armed services can be discharged from service. Because child support is considered a legal debt, failure to pay can also be reported to credit agencies, which will impact credit scores negatively. Moving across state lines to avoid payment can result in the filing of a federal case under the Deadbeats Parents Punishment Act of 1998. Penalties can include mandatory restitution and imprisonment for up to two years.

As you can see, the consequences of failing to pay child support are significant. If you’re having trouble paying because you’re in a financial bind, there are steps to can take to get help. Working with a company like Freedom Debt Relief can help you negotiate more favorable terms on your unsecured debt. This can help make child support payments easier to pay. If you’re currently in an eligible debt relief program and in good standing with your monthly program payments, companies like Consolidation Plus may even contact you and invite you to take out a loan that will help speed up your debt settlements.

To find a solid debt relief company, conduct some research such as reading these Freedom Debt Relief reviews to be sure you’re signing with a reputable firm.

In the end, children shouldn’t have to (but often do) pay for the disagreements between their parents. The consequences imposed on delinquent child support payments is meant to protect kids. Questions or comments? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.