You have been or were ordered to pay child support, but for one reason or another you did not pay it as ordered. The Jackson Law Group defends child support enforcement actions. Call our office to set up a free initial consultation.
Failure to pay child support is dangerous business! Not only are you at jeopardy for jail (confinement in the local brick house), but also for fines, court costs and the payment of mandatory attorney’s fees. Nothing good about it. Your failure to pay child support also creates a child support arrearage – something you will have to pay back with interest. Some like to say, “can’t squeeze blood out of a turnup” – yes they can. Or, “if they put me in jail I can’t pay child support so they wont put me in jail.” Well, they will put you on work release.
Some of the following scenarios are very common:
- You may or may not have known about the child in the first place.
- You may have paid your child support directly to the former spouse when you were supposed to pay it through the state agency (the State Disbursement Unit). Always follow the order, pay to the State Disbursement Unit.
- You may have provided actual support, that is bought clothes or provided day care, for your child but were ordered to do something else. Or, you may have provided actual support for your child where there was no order to pay child support through the state agency.
- Your child support may have simply been miscalculated through an order. Or, you, although ordered to pay child support, lost your job. If you lose your job, don’t sleep on your rights. Take steps to get the child support modified immediately.
These are examples of the number of difficulties that can arise in the child support scenario. This is where you may hear this term for the first time – arrearages (means you owe the money – past due child support). The Jackson Law Group defends child support claims.
Note, a child support enforcement action must be specifically pled. It must be exactly right. If not, no contempt.
We know how you feel? We have had those cases where the child was a product of a “one night stand.” Or, the relationship was a “friends with benefits” scenario where ultimately a child was produced. We understand the dilemma. The problem is – a child was produced and that child requires support – all those things a child needs as he or she grows. The court will order support. Note: if your partner has produced a child as a result of an informal relationship, DO NOT think that they will be “reasonable” and that you can make informal payments. You need orders in place as soon as possible. That would be through a suit to establish paternity. Waiting around or procrastinating will cause you to establish an arrearage. Just get the orders and pay as ordered.
You may be of the opinion that there is no way that they will take you from the court to jail. You are thinking the court will “give me a chance” or “I’ll get a good talking to but that is all,” usually at a first setting this scenario will likely be true. However, after the chance(s) and the talking, they take action. They care not about your car in the parking lot and whether or not it will towed. They do not care about your job, you obligation to pick up a child. It can be very harsh. This is why you need to mount a defense. The Jackson Law Group will provide you a defense.
There are several legal defenses for non payment of child support. These include:
- Physical possession of the child
- Making payments directly to the custodial parent
- Inability to pay (for example, homelessness)
- Physical or mental incapacity that developed after the divorce
If a child support case is brought against you, we can meet with you, examine the basis for any missed payments and compare your payment records to the state disbursement records. We can them discuss possible strategies and solutions that will resolve your case.