Why it is Important to Pay Child Support
Child support is something that many parents are forced to pay after they go through the huge transition that is divorce. Although it may not be something that many parents want to pay, it is very necessary, and it is important to always pay child support in the appropriate amount on time. Not only is child support crucial for children as it provides necessities for a parent’s child who cannot provide for them in person, but there are also many legal consequences that a parent will face if they refuse to pay. There are a wide variety of repercussions to not paying child support, and some may not seem like major consequences while others can be very serious.
Criminal and Civil Warrants:
When a parent does not pay all of their child support, refuses to pay, or falls far behind on payments, the parent of a child receiving child support can file for contempt of the court, and warrants can be issued for the parent who has not paid their child support. This can result in high fines, jail time (less than one year for a civil warrant, but can be a year or more for a criminal warrant). These are very serious consequences that will greatly affect a person’s life.
Other Minor Consequences:
While the issuing of a warrant is the most severe punishment, there are other consequences that a parent might face when they fail to pay their child support. It is possible to have their driver’s license revoked. They may no longer be able to receive government benefits or a tax refund, and passports can also be taken (this is especially crucial if the individual is an immigrant and has not yet become a legal citizen). An individual may also not be able to get other licenses, such as fishing and boating licenses. It is always likely that a parent will face fines and higher charges for not paying child support when it is due.
Assistance for Parents who are Struggling:
After a divorce has been settled and child custody and support has been arranged, it is fully possible that a parent might face financial difficulties and not be able to pay child support in the amount that was decided. If the individual loses their job, faces other drastic changes, has a medical or other emergency, and other indicators that can affect the ability to pay, there are options that can help people who are struggling. The available assistance programs or the reconsideration of child support amounts by the court can help make it fair to the parents’ situations and will be a better choice than outright refusing to pay for a child’s care.
In Arizona, you can make an appeal to the court to ask them to reconsider the amount, or to set up an affordable temporary payment plan that will remain in place until the circumstance improves or the situation resolves itself. It is also possible to go to court and have them completely reconsider child support payments and amounts, though proof of the situation will need to be shown and there must be valid evidence to support a person’s case.