What happens when parents fail to pay child support?

Whether you have child support obligations as a non-custodial parent or are counting on these payments to help raise your child, back child support can make life hard. When a non-custodial parent falls behind on child support for one reason or another, both parties may face hardships. For example, failing to pay child support in Michigan may result in the garnishment of wages or tax refunds, prison and financial penalties. However, these missed payments can also affect children and custodial parents.

Sometimes, when a non-custodial parent moves to another state in order to avoid paying child support, their case may be taken to the federal level, according to the United States Department of Justice. Under these circumstances, when back child support exceeds one year of missed payments or $5,000, a non-custodial parent could be charged with a misdemeanor. However, they may face felony charges if the amount owed is greater than $10,000 or they have missed payments for more than two years. If found guilty, they could be sent to prison for two years and have to pay harsh financial penalties.

On top of these consequences, missing child support payments can make life difficult in other ways. From a social stigma to serious anxiety, all sorts of problems can be averted by staying current on child support. Sometimes, parents are able to have their order modified, making monthly payments more tolerable. You should know that this blog piece is not intended to serve as a replacement for legal recommendations in any way.

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