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What happens if I fall behind on my child support payments?

Child support exists to meet children’s physical and emotional needs after their parents split up. However, for many paying parents in Minnesota, meeting their child support obligations can create a financial hardship. You may be concerned about the legal consequences if you do not pay child support.

Contrary to popular belief, not all parents who fall behind on child support payments do not care about their children. In many cases, they simply cannot afford the amount set for them. However, there are serious consequences to falling into arrears with child support, explains the Minnesota Department of Human Services. After several weeks or months of nonpayment, you may experience the following:

  • Being held in contempt of court
  • Receiving a negative impact on your credit report
  • Seizure of financial assets or levies on your properties
  • Suspension of your driver’s, occupational and recreational licenses
  • Getting a hold on your passport or student grants
  • Interception of your state and federal tax refunds

Additionally, you may face jail time for being seriously overdue on child support payments. If you are finding it difficult to make your payments or to catch up on arrears, you have recourse. You may be able to have your child support order modified or to make payment arrangements by contacting your child support worker or the family law courts. Modifying a child support order may also require experienced counsel. Since this topic can be complex, the information in this blog is meant to assist you but it should not replace the advice of a lawyer.

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