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What Are the Penalties for Not Paying Child Support in California?

Posted on November 15th, 2021

At the Harris Family Law Group, our Los Angeles divorce attorneys know that spouses with kids have many challenges when dissolving their marriages, including determining child custody and child support details.

The reality is, these two key factors go hand in hand. Once custody is established, the next step is determining the amount of child support that will be awarded to the parent who obtains primary custody of the children.

Whether you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse agreed on a figure during mediation or if a judge decided for you during litigation, child support terms are non-negotiable once they are finalized in the divorce agreement. That means the amount and the frequency in which it is paid are mandatory.

If you are obligated to make child support payments in California, you must know there are severe financial, social, and potentially legal penalties associated with non-payment.

Here is what our Los Angeles family law attorneys want you to know about missing child support payments.

What Happens When a Parent Fails to Pay Child Support in California?

The California Child Support Services is responsible for enforcing the consequences of unpaid child support throughout the state, and they are firmly committed to ensuring that children gain access to the financial support necessary from the paying parent.

When parents fall behind on child support, the next steps to enforcing the legal requirement may include one or more of the following actions:

  • Garnishing or withholding unemployment wages
  • Intercepting state or federal tax refunds
  • Recovering a portion of workers’ compensation benefits
  • Minimizing state disability benefits
  • Driver’s license suspensions
  • Denied passports
  • Property liens
  • Potential criminal charges

If you are the child support recipient and are having trouble collecting the court-mandated financial support your kids need to enrich their lives, contact our skilled family law attorneys in Los Angeles to learn how we can help you pursue the outstanding amount and enforce future payments.

If you are the paying parent and are suffering financial hardship from a career change or unemployment, we may be able to help you pursue a decrease in the amount of your child support payments, so you can catch up without risking your financial standing.

Contact Our Los Angeles Child Support Attorneys at Harris Family Law Group Today

If you have questions about your child support agreement or are considering a divorce and do not know what to expect from the process contact our family law attorneys in Los Angeles at the Harris Family Law Group today to discuss the details of your case during a free consultation by calling 310-745-8644.