What Happens if I Stop Paying Child Support?

Once the court has issued an order stating that you must pay child support, you are obligated to pay the monthly child support payments from the date the order is issued. If you have run into the situation where the other parent is not allowing you to visit with your child, this does not mean that you can withhold child support payments.

If you want to pay your child support payments, but simply cannot afford them due to a job loss, or a decrease in pay, you cannot reduce or cease paying child support just because your income or obligations have changed; you must go to court and request a downward modification. Do not wait!

Even if you are out of work, you will be responsible for the full amount of child support until the court changes the court order.

Consequences of Not Paying Child Support

If you stop paying child support for any reason, the local child support agency (LCSA) has a variety of ways to enforce your child support obligation. The LCSA can use any one or more of the following methods to collect child support:

  • Report the failure on your credit report.
  • Deny you a passport.
  • Suspend your driver's license.
  • File a lien against a home or land that you own.
  • Suspend a professional license (cosmetologist, contractor, doctor, teacher, lawyer, etc.).
  • The Franchise Tax Board can take funds from any bank accounts, commissions, royalties, and dividends.
  • The IRS and the Franchise Tax Board can use tax refunds to pay back child support.
  • Cash in bank accounts can be taken for back child support.
  • A portion of state disability payments can be taken to pay current and back child support.
  • A portion of unemployment can be taken for child support.
  • A lump sum workers' compensation award can be taken for back child support.
  • Lottery winnings can be taken to pay child support.

If the LCSA has taken any one of the above actions, they won't stop until you meet their requirements. We suggest that you contact Cutter & Lax as soon as possible to schedule a consultation with an Encino divorce attorney.

We deal with child support, child custody, and LCSA matters on a regular basis. We can offer you the advice and guidance you need to take care of this matter once and for all.