What happens if I stop paying support?
If you have been court ordered to pay support (alimony, child support or something else) or if you have agreed to pay support then it is expected that you will actually pay consistent with the order or agreement. If you do not then there is a process in place seeking to bring you into compliance.
In the event that you stop paying support the person expecting support can file a motion with the court seeking to enforce the support order/agreement. In cases where the support payments are to be made through the Probation Department they can, on their own, bring an application before the court seeking enforcement. This article addresses some of the things that the court can do in response to support enforcement applications.
First, the Court can modify the manner in which support is to be paid. For example, if you were supposed to pay directly the Court can direct that future payments be made by way of wage execution.
Second, the Court can establish an arrears payment and/or restructure your payment. For example, if someone has arrears of $1,000 the Court could require that all or a part of these arrears be made by way of a lump sum payment or payments. The Court could also direct that the arrears balance be paid down by the rate of so much per week until paid in full.
Third, the IRS can take your tax refund as an offset applying it to your support arrears.
Fourth, the Court can suspend your driver’s license.
Fifth, the Court can suspend your occupational and/or professional license. This would include your license to practice law or medicine or financial licensing.
Finally, the Court can issue a warrant for your arrest and/or incarcerate you. In most cases the warrant will not be lifted until a minimum payment is made toward the support arrears.
The point is this – the court will enforce its orders. In the event that there has been a change of circumstances with yourself and/or finances that prevent you from honoring your support commitments, it is better to seek advice and take action to possibly review your obligations rather than simply stop paying.
All of the attorneys at Domers & Bonamassa are well versed and have years of experience addressing family law issues, no matter how complicated. Contact us today at (856) 596-2888 for a private consultation. We appear in the following counties: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem, Mercer, Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May. Our practice areas include: divorce, custody, parenting time, child support, alimony, domestic violence, college expenses, equitable distribution, name changes, step parent adoptions, paternity issues, child abuse and neglect, prenuptial agreements, mediation and arbitration.
This posting is provided by Domers & Bonamassa, P.C. for their clients, advisors and other interested persons. Since technical information is presented in a generalized fashion, the communication is not meant to replace the need for competent professional advice and the reader should understand that the information contained in or made available through this communication is not intended to be a substitute for the services of trained professionals. As such, the reader should evaluate and bear all risks associated with the use of any comments, including any reliance on accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of such content.