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The consequences of not paying child support

In the event that a parent who lives in the state of Pennsylvania does not pay child support, there are consequences that the parent could face. An attempt by the child support case worker to collect the money owed will be made first. A letter can be sent to the home of the parent or the place of employment in order to collect money for the child.

After all attempts at collection have been made, an order to appear for court to explain why money has not been paid will be issued. When the delinquent parent goes to court, the judge will determine if the reasons are sufficient enough to continue with the current amount of the monthly child support or if the amount should be increased to make up for the money not paid. A large payment can be withheld from an income tax return, and the payment can be held from any kind of income that the parent receives each month.

Other financial consequences include placing a lien on property owned by the parent or seizing assets that are controlled by the delinquent parent, such as a bank account. There is a possibility that the amount owed can be submitted to a credit reporting agency to try to collect on any amount that is overdue. If the parent fails to pay after three months, then the driver's license could be suspended, or the parent could be placed in jail.

An attorney can help with trying to get child support payments reduced if the parent is struggling to find work or has been out of work for a long period of time due to an illness or injury. This can benefit both parents as the absent parent would be able to make a lower payment each month, and the custodial parent would still receive money for the child.

Source: The Pennsylvania Code, "(750 ILCS 16/) Non-Support Punishment Act.", October 30, 2014

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