Whether a child support order was created after your divorce or you had a child out of wedlock but the courts now require you to pay child support, it is crucial that you keep up with your payments to avoid facing some of the severe consequences that are given when you fail to pay. While it is understandable that you may be experiencing a financial hardship, if you can’t afford your child support payments, it is best you contact Lansing, MI child support attorney Stuart R. Shafer before allowing your payments to lapse.
You see, once the Friend of the Court is notified that you haven’t been keeping up with the support payments you are required to provide to your child’s custodial parent, you could be faced with one or more of the following consequences:
- Your employer may withhold some or all of your income to satisfy the amount owed in child support.
Not only can your employer use your wages to collect the amount you should be paying, but they can also be ordered to collect any past-due payments as well. While most child support payments are satisfied through the non-custodial parent’s paychecks, sometimes other methods of payment are agreed upon. And if you were paying using another way aside from having the funds be withdrawn out of your salary, the friend of the Court will likely require your employer to begin withholding what is owed and send it to the Michigan State Disbursement Unit.
- You could lose your tax refund.
According to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS), “if the amount of past-due support reaches a certain level, both federal and state tax refunds could be intercepted to pay support.” Currently, the past due amount that would make you eligible to lose your state tax refund is $150 and it is also $150 for the federal tax refund as well although this only applies to cases where cash assistance is received. If you do not receive cash assistance, then the past-due jumps to $500.
- Your driver’s license may be suspended.
The Friend of the Court could suspend or revoke your driver’s license, recreational or sporting licenses, and professional licenses if you are behind more than two months in payments.
- Your credit score may drop.
Any parent who is behind more than two months in child support payments will automatically be reported to a consumer credit reporting agency.
- You could lose your property.
Another downfall to not paying the support you owe is the Friend of the Court has the ability to “initiate a lien/levy against real personal property, financial assets, or insurance claims for collection of child support.”
- A warrant for your arrest may be issued.
After the courts are notified that you have neglected to provide child support or medical support, they may order you to appear before the court to explain why you should not be held in contempt. The MDHHS says this is called a “show cause hearing.” In the event you miss this hearing, a bench warrant will likely be used for your arrest.
There are a number of other consequences the MDHHS says a non-custodial parent who fails to pay child support may be faced with so it best that if you missed a payment or know you won’t be able to make the next one that is due, you contact the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. as soon as possible. Our office is available to help you get your issue resolved if you live in any of the following cities: Lansing, East Lansing, Okemos, St. Johns, Grand Ledge, Charlotte or Dewitt.
The Law Offices Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. can be reached at:
1223 Turner Street, #333
Lansing, MI 48906