Every parent has a legal responsibility to financially support their children, no matter where the child resides. In many cases, this means the non-custodial parent will pay child support to the custodial parent. However, there are instances where the non-custodial parent will struggle to make their child support payments, which can lead to severe consequences in Oklahoma.
What Are the Consequences of Not Paying Child Support?
The purpose of child support is to ensure that the custodial parent can financially provide for the child. If the court orders that you have to pay child support, then there is no way that you can get out of paying it. Regardless of whether you don't pay child support or you don't have the money, there are many consequences that you can potentially face for missing your payments.
The state will take drastic measures to ensure that the custodial parent gets the funds that they need. They can decide to take a certain percentage of your check. You may also get your state and federal tax return taken. Additionally, you can get liens placed on your property. This means that the state can seize your property in order to satisfy the child support debt.
You Won't Be Able to Travel
It will be a lot harder for you to get to where you need to go if you don't pay child support. You can get your driver's license taken. You may also not be able to register a car, motorcycle, or boat. Additionally, you can be denied a passport.
Impact Your Reputation
Your name may be placed on the Oklahoma Child Support Enforcement Most Wanted List. This information can easily be accessed by the public, which could impact your reputation, making it difficult to obtain employment. The list includes information with the individual's name, photograph, date of birth, their last known address, and any amount of child support owed.
Because child support is ultimately determined by the court, if you do not make your payments you may be held in contempt of court. This is a criminal offense which can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, meaning you could face up to four years in jail and a $5,000 fine. Keep in mind that your child support debt does not go away when you are in jail.
How far behind in child support payments do you have to be to face jail time? Technically, only one missed payment of child support is enough to be held in contempt of court. However, if you are struggling to pay your child support, an attorney may be able to help you work out the issue with your ex or request a modication to your child support payments in order to avoid jail time.
One final consequence of not paying child support is that your licenses and permits may be suspended. This includes your driver's license, professional licenses, recreational licenses, and business permits.
Speak to a Norman Child Support Lawyer Today
If you owe child support, but an incident has happened in your life that has left you unable to meet your financial obligations, or you are a custodial parent struggling because your child's other parent is not making their payments, consider seeking out our Norman child support attorney at Redhawk Law. Our team is here to answer your questions and walk you through the challenges of child support matters.
For a consultation about child support orders, enforcement or modifications, call Redhawk Law today at (405) 266-5072.