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Bucks County Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Family Law > Failure to Pay Child Support In Pennsylvania

Failure to Pay Child Support In Pennsylvania


If a judge orders child support payments, there are penalties when those payments are not made. After all, in Pennsylvania and throughout the country it is the responsibility of parents to support their children, including non-custodial parents who are ordered to pay child support.

Typically, when there is a failure to pay child support it happens over time. A non-custodial parent makes initial payments but the support wanes as months or years roll on. If child support isn’t being paid, there are penalties. Talk to a Bucks County family attorney about your situation and what the best path is moving forward.

Penalties for Not Making Support Payments

The consequences for failing to make child support payments can be severe. If a person is having trouble making payments because of financial difficulties, the legal and financial repercussions of failing to pay child support could make the situation even worse as there can be severe consequences.

Possible punishments for not paying child support include the following:

  • Held in contempt of court
  • Failure to pay documented on credit report
  • Jail time or probation
  • Lottery winnings can be seized
  • Fines and financial penalties
  • Bank account funds can be seized
  • Workers’ compensation fund can be intercepted
  • Driver’s license can be suspended

There are other consequences as well. When a person is ordered to pay support, forgoing those payments is not worth the risk. Child support payments need to be made regularly and on time.

Ways to Lower Child Support Amounts

If a non-custodial parent is unable to make child support payments because of job loss or illness, the issue should be taken to court. A downward modification in the child support payment amount may be possible. If you need help with your child support situation, talk to a Bucks County family attorney.

There are times when a child support payment is simply more than the parent can afford. But the change should be done properly as reducing payments without going through legal channels can create more issues. A person who has had a life change that resulted in a lower income should talk to a lawyer and potentially go to court. It is possible that a judge will lower the child support amount. When possible, an attorney might be able to negotiate an agreement for a lower amount with the other parent, avoiding the expense of going to court.

Some situations that could warrant a downward modification include an income reduction for the non-custodial parent or life changes for the custodial parent. For example, if the custodial parent remarries or has had an increase in their income, the non-custodial parent may have a right to lower payments moving forward.

Has your ex stopped making child support payments? Or, are you a non-custodial parent that can no longer afford the high child support payments that were ordered by the court when you divorced? An experienced family lawyer can help. Discuss your concerns with the attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand. Our lawyers pay attention to every detail and work for you. Schedule your consultation today, call 215-968-6602.


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