What Happens if You Don’t Pay Child Support

closeup of a gavel on cash, from aboveThere are many potential reasons a person may not pay child support; not all of them are results of resistance or refusal. Life has a way of changing in ways you cannot anticipate, and that could mean financial hardship that prevents you from making payments on time. In any case, what happens if you don’t pay child support as ordered during divorce?

Non-Payment is a Problem

In Florida, there actually only a few instances in which failure to pay a court-ordered amount is punishable with contempt. Court-ordered child support is one of those instances. That means, if you fail to pay and can provide no acceptable reason why, you could be held in contempt by a court judge. If a parent is held in contempt, a judge may order that person to pay the child support by a deadline, or that parent could be sent to jail.

Usually, the judge will order the parent to pay by an assigned deadline–called a “purge.” They may not have to pay everything; the order may require that parent to pay a more affordable portion to encourage that person to start making payments and catch up on what he or she owes. If that amount is not paid in time, the judge may then send that parent to jail until the payment is made. In some cases, the judge could insist that the parent make additional payments on top of the existing standard payments so he or she can get caught up faster.

Whether you’re a parent in need of child support payments, or you’re the parent who needs to make those payments, we can help. We know family law in Florida, and we’re here to help. Call us today for all your divorce needs in Florida; we make it affordable without sacrificing service.


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