What do you do if your ex-spouse refuses to make court-ordered child support payments?
Being a single parent can be tough, and child support payments help the parent keep bills and childcare costs under control. So it can be devastating when one party refuses to make those payments.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to force your ex-spouse’s hand. The state takes child support very seriously, and those who do not pay it can suffer some pretty serious consequences. Not paying can lead to long-term financial ruin.
Consequences of Failure to Pay Child Support
Every month that child support is not paid, a judgment is issued against the non-paying party. These judgments, while destroying the party’s credit, build interest at a rate of 12% annually, compounding every month. This means that the longer the person waits to pay, the more they will owe – it is not difficult for a monthly sum of a few hundred dollars to rapidly snowball into a ten thousand or even hundred-thousand-dollar problem.Additionally, child support cannot be discharged through bankruptcy, and the statute of limitations on child support judgments is 20 years. It can’t just be swept under the rug and ignored.
If the financial consequences are not able to convince the party to pay up, there are things we can do to help. The non-paying party can be held in contempt of court, which can put them in jail for up to 180 days and fine them for noncompliance. The courts can order wage garnishments on the nonpaying party, up to 65 percent of that person’s wages. The courts can also attach liens to property owned by the nonpaying party. In short – it’s never worth it to withhold child support payments.
If your ex-spouse is withholding child support payments, our Denver divorce attorneys can help you bring legal action against your ex-spouse.