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Can you go to jail for not paying child support?

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2018 | Child Support And Spousal Maintenance |

It’s up to both parents to cover expenses for rearing a child, whether that involves purchase of school supplies or seeing to medical needs. That’s why non-custodial parents in Missouri must pay child support as ordered by the court. Failure to do so can result in a number of serious consequences, as explained by TheBalance.com.  

License suspension

Many states are working with the court to enforce payment of child support. This is done via license suspension, wherein the agency responsible for issuing drivers licenses will withdraw privileges if support payments are missed over an extended period of time. This can be highly disruptive to a person’s life and may even impact his or her ability to earn a living.

Wage garnishment

As nonpayment continues, the consequences will become more serious at each level. For instance, wage garnishment entails support payments being taken directly from your pay each week. This usually occurs after numerous late or missing payments, at which point the matter is often taken back to court.

Fines and penalties

Much like other types of late and missed payments, nonpayment of child support can result in extra fees and penalties being assessed. As more and more fines are tacked on the total owed can grow to exorbitant figures. In some cases, it could be as much as tens of thousands of dollars.

Jail time

If nonpayment persists despite the above measures, jail time is a possibility. The length of time and the likelihood of imprisonment can vary from state to state. However, this option shows how serious courts take nonpayment and why it’s so crucial that non-custodial parents keep current with their financial obligations.

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