Jun 23, 2013 | Child Support


Child support is often a vital issue in the case of spouses separating. In most divorces where children are involved, payments are usually made by one spouse to the other spouse who has custody of the child. These payments serve to provide basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter for the child, as well as medical expenses and education. It is very important that child support payments be made on the dates, and in the amounts, required by the judge. Failure to pay child support can have serious legal consequences. Here are some of the punishments one may face for unpaid child support.

The court can issue warrants for arrest of the spouse who has failed to pay child support. These warrants are classified into two categories:

Criminal Warrants: These are issued if prosecutors become involved under federal or state law. This occurs if the parent has missed several payments, and owes a significant amount of money. These warrants can be issued anywhere in the U.S., not just in the state where the case is taking place. As a result of being issued a criminal warrant, a delinquent parent may face large fines, one year or more in jail, or both.

Civil Warrants: These warrants, also referred to as “capias,” are issued when the support paying parent fails to obey a court order. Upon this occurrence, the support receiving parent can file for contempt of court. Failure to obey a court order can lead to fines, jail sentences of one year or more, or both.

Unpaid child support payments can also lead to other consequences, including:

  • Suspension of driver’s license and driving privileges
  • Denial of tax refunds and other government benefits
  • Loss of passports
  • Denial of hunting, fishing, or boating licenses
  • Placing a lien, or an order that gives a creditor a right to sell your property and use profits toward child support

The above mentioned penalties are generally imposed on parents who are delinquent in unpaid child support payments. Please note that these penalties and other legal regulations vary from state to state. In every state, however, neglecting to keep up with court ordered child support payments will result in serious legal trouble.

For more information on child support related issues, feel free to contact the Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler in Rockford, IL at 815-981-4859. Please note, the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.