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Child support non-payment can lead to greater financial problems

Children are often the greatest casualties in divorce and custody disputes; in many cases joint custody is preferred by both parents. However, in some cases, custodial battles and child support disagreements can lead to acrimony.

One parent may often find themselves responsible for child support payments. However, one needs to remember that much like other legal financial obligations, non-payment or even irregular payment of child support can have serious repercussions. While most cases relating to child support are regulated by state laws, failing to pay one's child support payment may bring the non-custodial parent under the scrutiny of the federal government if a substantial amount is not paid for a long time. Furthermore, the federal laws may also be violated if one tries to leave the country while in default of child support payments.

Delinquent payments can even lead to heavy fines or imprisonment. The total fines and legal fees often accumulate to an amount far exceeding the initial child support payment ordered by court. Furthermore, non-payment of child support often adversely affects one's credit score. In case the custodial parent sues the non-custodial parent for child support, the legal battle can have an unfavorable outcome on the non-custodial parent's credit. Such legal battles are often reflected as a negative tradeline on the credit reports from the credit bureaus.

Many times, the delinquency in payments is caused by a heavy financial burden on the non-custodial parent. In such cases, it may be advisable to find a legal professional who may be able to help solicit a child support modification, thereby reflecting a fair amount that the non-custodial parent can pay.

Source:, "What happens if you stop paying child support?", Christine DiGangi, June 19, 2014

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