One of the worst things about divorce is missing out on time with your children. When you factor in the sudden requirement to pay child support, it’s easy to grow resentful and question custody and support decisions and question what an ex is doing with the money you provide each month.
It’s important to remember that no matter how things devolve between you and your former spouse, child support is meant to help your children have an acceptable standard of living and failing to pay child support on time could mean that your children will be forced to go without things they may need.
While child support payments are sent to your former spouse, the money should go toward the upkeep and well-being of your children. Child support may be used to help pay for rent, school supplies or even utilities. It’s important to keep in mind that without child support, your children would likely suffer.
If you feel upset about your child support or custody arrangement, your best option is to speak with an experienced Pennsylvania divorce and family law attorney. An attorney can help you determine the best way to move forward.
Failing to pay child support has legal repercussions
If your former spouse is refusing to let you see your children or limiting the amount of visitation you can have, it’s especially tempting to consider withholding child support. Doing so, however, will only harm your children and possibly you.
The state of Pennsylvania takes child support seriously and payments are dictated by a court order which is legally enforceable. Failing to pay child support on time or at all can therefore jeopardize your visitation and custody rights as the courts may view you as either unwilling or unable to provide for your children’s needs.
Worse still, there could be enforcement actions taken against you. If you don’t pay the ordered amount of child support in full and on time, your former spouse can request that the courts take steps to enforce the order. Sometimes, this means that the courts will garnish your wages. It’s also possible that the courts could seize your tax return or any lottery winnings to cover past due child support. In extreme cases of non-payment, the court could even issue a warrant for your arrest.
The right attorney can help with child support issues
If you believe that your child support amount is too high, your attorney can file a request for a hearing and ask the court to modify the amount you pay. It’s important to remember that the state bases the amount of support on the income of both spouses.
Don’t just stop paying and risk serious legal consequences.