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What Happens if I Do Not Pay Child Support in California?

During California divorce proceedings that involve children, child custody will either be agreed upon by the parents or ordered by the court. Once custody is established, the next factor is to determine the amount of child support that will be awarded to the parent who obtains primary custody of the child(ren).

At the Land Legal Group, our Los Angeles divorce attorneys help our clients determine how much child support is necessary for their children’s unique needs and how that amount will serve their best interests. When the amount is either agreed upon by the parents or ordered by the judge, the paying parent is obligated to make those payments in full and on time.

If you have questions about child support in Los Angeles County, our family law attorneys can help you understand your rights and the requirements associated with the financial obligation, so you do not find yourself facing the many consequences of falling in arrears.

What are the Consequences of Failing to Pay Child Support in California?

The California Child Support Services is the agency responsible for our state’s child support enforcement, and each county has an office that will take the lead in enforcing the consequences of unpaid child support.

They may include:

  • Withholding wages or garnishing unemployment wages
  • Intercepting a state or federal tax refund
  • Minimizing state disability benefits
  • Recovering a portion of workers’ compensation benefits
  • Suspending a driver’s license
  • Denying passport applications
  • Placing a lien on property

In some cases, the courts may even charge the parent who is in arrears with a misdemeanor when he or she has the means to pay but does not.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney in Los Angeles to Learn More

Paying child support is a legal responsibility and there are serious consequences when it is not paid. While there may be many reasons a parent is not paying, including job loss or medical issues, the obligation will still stand unless and until the paying parent petitions for and receives a modification order from the court. The order will not apply to previous payments — including those that were not made — and will only apply to the amount determined by the court going forward.

If you have questions about child support, including pursuing a parent who is in arrears, or how you can request a different amount, contact our Los Angeles family law attorneys at the Land Legal Group today at (310) 552-3500 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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