Can a Parent Lose Custody for Not Paying Child Support?

paying child support

If you are having difficulties paying child support and you are worried that this will cause you to lose legal custody, you need to act. You may not lose custody right away, but there are other potential punishments for failing to meet your child support obligations. Whether you are struggling to pay or you have an ex-spouse who is not meeting their obligations, our child custody attorneys in Bergen County, NJ are ready to help you.

Will I Be Considered an Unfit Parent I’m Not Paying Child Support?

You will not lose legal custody or be considered an unfit parent if you miss a few child support payments. There are other matters that are usually considered even more important than paying child support, like how you meet your child’s emotional and psychological needs or whether you always act with their best interests in mind.

You do have to address this though. Are you not paying because you lost a job? Are you struggling to pay your bills because of a recent medical emergency? Whatever the case may be, just skipping child support payments is not going to reflect well on you. You should talk to a lawyer to see if getting a modification to your child support agreement is a possibility.

What Are the Potential Punishments for Not Paying Child Support?

If you continue to miss child support payments, the court can actually hold you in contempt. This can mean prison time. This is obviously not ideal, since being in prison makes it difficult to make child support payments.

The court will usually try a few other methods before it resorts to this. Instead, a judge could decide to:

  • Revoke your driver’s license
  • Place a lien against your property until payments are made
  • Revoke a professional license
  • Have your wages garnished
  • Report late child support payments to credit reporting agencies as debt, hurting your credit score

None of these are great options. This is why you need to be proactive if you are struggling to pay your child support. Taking some steps to act responsibly can make a big difference here.

How Can I Force My Ex to Pay Child Support?

If you are on the opposite side of this exchange and are struggling to get child support payments from your former spouse, you do have some options. A family lawyer from our firm can help you go to court and address the situation. If you need to obtain a court order to get your ex to pay, we can make the process easier and less stressful for you.

Contact Our Law Firm Today

If you are dealing with any child support issues, we may be able to help. Contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark and schedule a consultation. We would love to learn more about your situation and if we can be of assistance.

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