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Birmingham Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Child Support > Be Proactive To Avoid Draconian Punishments For Unpaid Child Support

Be Proactive To Avoid Draconian Punishments For Unpaid Child Support


Most of the threats that divorcing spouses make are empty.  Your ex can’t get the court to take away your parenting time just by saying bad things about you to the judge; if anything, this will make the judge want to give you more parenting time.  Your ex cannot impoverish you, because Alabama’s equitable distribution laws require the court to award each spouse a fair share of marital property; in some cases, the court will even set aside a prenuptial agreement if it determines that it was unfair of one spouse to agree to accept so little.  One place where the threats hold true, however, is about the consequences of not paying court-ordered child support.  If you don’t pay child support, the court will not keep your kids away from you, but it will do everything in its power to get you to pay, and Alabama law does not mess around when it comes to pressuring divorced parents into paying child support.  Most of the time, though, nonpayment of child support is due to financial hardships beyond your control.  A Birmingham child support lawyer can help you modify your child support order if you are unable to meet your court-ordered child support obligations.

The Family Law Court Can Mess You Up If You Don’t Fulfill Your Child Support Obligations

The law treats nonpayment of court-ordered child support the same way as it treats noncompliance with any other court order, namely with aggressive debt collection practices, additional monetary fines, and even criminal penalties.  These are just some of the unpleasant things that can happen if you fall at least 60 days behind on your child support payments:

  • Wage garnishment
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Jail time

You cannot discharge child support debts in bankruptcy, and they do not have a statute of limitations; you can still owe child support from your children’s infancy when your children are in their 20s or older.  The only way to get out of a child support debt is to modify the court order.

Driver’s License Suspension and Jail Never Helped Anyone Get Out of Debt

The only way to get the money to pay your child support is to work, and to do that, you have to be at your workplace instead of in jail.  Furthermore, Alabama has so little public transportation that, unless you have friends and relatives you can drive you to and from every single shift, then the only way to get to work is to drive there.  Yes, you can take rideshares, but every penny you spend on Uber is a penny that could be going to your child support debt.  Locking up parents who can’t pay their child support, or suspending their driver’s licenses, is as unfair as it sounds.  If your court-ordered child support obligation is unaffordable, you should petition the court to modify it.

Contact Peeples Law About Modifying a Child Support Order

A Birmingham family law attorney can help you modify your child support obligations if the court has ordered you to pay more than you can afford.  Contact Peeples Law today to schedule a consultation.




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