Honesty. Integrity. Finality.

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Child Support
  4.  » What happens if your ex-spouse refuses to pay child support?

What happens if your ex-spouse refuses to pay child support?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | Child Support |

Child support is a stipulated legal obligation designed to provide financial assistance for the care and upbringing of a child. When an ex-spouse refuses to pay child support, it can result in significant consequences. The parent who is owed child support can take legal action to enforce payment.

If your ex-spouse refuses to pay and you go to court, there are several ways the court can enforce payment of child support. Some potential actions the court may take include the following.

Criminal prosecution

In cases where there is blatant and persistent refusal to pay child support, the court may pursue criminal prosecution against the delinquent parent. This could result in fines, penalties or even imprisonment in extreme cases. However, criminal prosecution for failure to pay child support is typically reserved for situations where there is clear evidence of intentional evasion or substantial arrears.

Tax refund intercepts

The court may intercept the delinquent parent’s tax refunds to satisfy unpaid child support obligations. This means that any tax refunds owed to the non-paying parent can be redirected to the parent who is owed to cover past-due child support payments.

Property liens

Property liens can also be placed on the delinquent parent’s property. This means that a legal claim is placed on the non-paying parent’s assets, such as real estate or vehicles to secure the payment of child support arrears. If the property is sold or refinanced, the child support arrears would be paid from the proceeds before the non-paying parent receives any funds.

License suspension

The delinquent parent’s licenses can be suspended as a consequence of failing to pay child support. This includes driver’s licenses, professional licenses and recreational licenses. By suspending these licenses, the court aims to incentivize compliance with child support obligations. The non-paying parent may need their licenses for work or other essential activities, so the suspension serves as a significant deterrent to non-payment.

If your ex-spouse has reneged on their obligation to pay child support, consider seeking legal redress through the appropriate legal channels to enforce payment and to better ensure the well-being of your child.