Paying for and keeping up with child support payments can be tricky, especially when you look at how quickly the courts act to penalize parents who miss a payment or make a mistake. These rules are understandably designed to ensure parents are providing for their children’s needs at all times, but they can sometimes ensnare well-intentioned parents who might have made a simple mistake.
For this post, we’re looking at common child support mistakes that could get you in trouble, even if you have a perfect history of making child support payments!
Making Payments Outside the Official Court-Approved Venues
For the most part, the courts use a wage garnishment system to automatically collect child support payments. This is ideal because not only is the process streamlined, but there’s minimal risk of you messing up.
However, counties can differ in how they accept payments. Make sure you’re always going through the legally-established venue, and avoid making payments under the table or helping around in different ways in the hopes that it counts as part of any court-required child support payments! Being late with an official payment carries consequences such as an automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
Failure to Report Changes in Income
Always report any changes of income in any direction. It’s important for you to report any reduced income, as this can help your request a modification if needed in order to offer some relief. Likewise, the ex also needs to remain informed of any increases in your income so that he/she can determine whether a modification is in order.
When things are going well and everyone is happy, you might be tempted to just hold onto that extra cash for yourself. The risk just isn’t worth it, as any dishonesty on your part can come back to haunt you with serious legal consequences.
Quitting a Job Without Having Another Lined Up
Remember: your child support obligations don’t go away even if you suddenly quit your job or get fired. Leaving your main source of income without having another one lined up is a terrible idea. Unless and until a modification is accepted, your responsibility is the same under the eyes of the law. Miss a payment, and you can expect the usual penalties and other accountability mechanisms to kick in regardless of your situation.
Learn More by Checking in with a Family Law Attorney
If you’re dealing with a situation where you’ve fallen out of favor with the courts due to a child support payment issue, or simply want to learn more, remember to reach out to us at R & S Law Group, LLP! Schedule a free appointment today by calling us at (949) 825-5245 today!