How Does Child Support Arrears Work and What Penalties Could You Face?

La Jolla, CA – If you have fallen behind on your child support payments and you live in California, you may be facing strict penalties. It all depends on the facts of your divorce judgement, as well as the amount of support you have in arrears.

Child Support Arrears in Carlsbad
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Enforcement Proceedings

Typically, this matter is handled by the Department of Child Services. There may also be private agencies, attorneys or the other parent that initiates these proceedings. If enforcement is called for, here’s what you can expect.

Wage Garnishment: This is where the employer is contacted and an arrangement is made to have a certain amount of child support deducted from the individual’s paycheck. The amount deducted is determined by the amount of child support ordered, the amount in arrears, and the individual’s net income after taxes.

Suspension of License: In some cases, the judge can rule that the person’s driver’s license or professional license be revoked for a certain amount of time, or until the child support has been caught up. The person’s passport may also be revoked in some cases to prevent the individual from leaving the country to avoid child support payments.

Tax Liens: A lien can be placed on a home, business or other asset so that if the person ever decides to sell, part of the proceeds will be paid toward the child support arrears.

Jail Time: In extreme cases, the judge may deem that jail is the best course of action for the person being charged with past-due child support. The idea is that, when facing jail, most people call their friends and family for help, and the payments are usually caught up soon after.

Remain Current and Know Your Rights

If you have been ordered to pay child support and you are behind, you may be able to have your payments reduced if you can show due cause. The best way to handle your case is to contact an experienced California divorce attorney. Your divorce lawyer will hear your case and determine the ideal strategy for getting you the best outcome for your case.

To learn more about child support, child support arrears, and how to go after a parent who owes child support, contact the experienced divorce attorneys in Carlsbad and San Diego at Griffith, Young & Lass, now serving clients in in Del Mar, Encinitas, Escondido, La Jolla, Leucadia, Oceanside, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Solana Beach, Vista, and San Diego, California.

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