One of the most contested issues in any divorce proceedings is the determination of what constitutes just and appropriate child support payments. Understand that this can often lead to greater friction between divorcing parties, especially when the amount ordered by the court is sufficiently higher than what is practically feasible.
On one end of the spectrum is the spouse who expects to gain financial remuneration for the basic necessities, and health and educational expenses of their children. On the other end is the spouse who has to make sure they pay these court-ordered child support payments.
However, if the spouse fails to pay the court-ordered amount, will they be subjected to certain punishments or penalties? The short answer is yes.
If the parent has been grossly negligent of their duties to support their child, they may be charged with a criminal offense. Despite having a good family lawyer in Colorado Springs, this can have a punishment of incarceration for not less than a year, as well as the payment of fines. In some cases, both fines and jail terms can be meted out.
Contempt of Court
The Law Office of Gordon N. Shayne, a family lawyer in Colorado Springs, says if the parent is having problems complying with financial obligations to their child, the custodial parent may file for a contempt of court. This will put the defendant behind bars for not more than a year, with a fine that is significantly lower than a criminal offense-related punishment.
Whether the non-payment of child support fees are considered crimes or civil offenses, the defendant parent will also be subjected to the following penalties or punishments.
- Driver’s license suspension and/or revocation
- Tax refund denials
- Government benefits curtailment
- Passport revocation
- Wage garnishment
- Lien placement on real estate property
- Credit score reduction
- Revocation of suspension of a variety of licenses
The parent mandated by the court to pay child support should be in close coordination with the custodial parent. Additionally, seeking advice from the child support enforcement agency will be crucial in coming up with a temporary payment plan or even a modification of child support payments.