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What will happen if I don't pay my child support?

Life changes are inevitable. An unexpected job loss, medical emergency or other financial hit could severely impact your financial stability, making it difficult to not only keep up with your bills, but also your court-ordered support payments. However, you should not stop paying child support even if you are having financial troubles. 

Child support is a court-ordered payment in Maryland, so you must obtain a modification of the original order to have your payments lowered or changed. If you do not get a modification and instead simply start paying less or not at all, you will fall into delinquency. Failing to keep up with payments might also mean that your child will not benefit from the payment of necessary financial support. 

Aside from potentially depriving your child of much-needed support, you could also face serious consequences. Most family law courts do not take delinquency lightly, especially when the person responsible for payments had the opportunity to request a modification. Those who have fallen into delinquency might face some of the following consequences: 

  • Wage garnishments 
  • Loss of commercial driving privileges 
  • Repayment order plus fines 
  • Contempt of court, leading to jail time and fines 

If you are in Maryland and struggling to make your monthly child support payments or recently experienced a significant change to your finances, the time to act is now. Petitioning for a modification of a current court order should usually be done in a timely manner to avoid missed payments and possible delinquency. Be sure to visit our website for more information about modifications or what to do after falling behind on payments. 

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