Parents are legally responsible for children until they are no longer minors. When parents live in separate households, one parent is usually required to pay child support. Child support obligations are court-ordered, and failing to pay as ordered can bring on some serious consequences. To find out more about those consequences and what to do when the law finds you in arrears, read on.
Failures to Pay
Family court judges and child support enforcement agencies do everything they can to avoid putting dead-beat parents in jail for not paying child support. That being said, any parent who gets behind and has not made (or kept) payment arrangements can be arrested and jailed. The other parent may not even need to take action against the non-paying parent for a parent to be arrested. Before an arrest, child enforcement agencies might take some of the below actions to warn the parent about an upcoming arrest, however:
- Detouring your tax refund to pay back child support.
- Garnishing your wages from your paycheck.
- Suspending your driver's license.
What Happens After an Arrest?
As shocking as it might be to find yourself behind bars, it can happen to those who are behind on their obligations. Getting out of jail is important for several reasons. You are not safe in jail — jails can be dangerous places and inmates can be assaulted and worse. They are not clean — disease runs rampant through jails. The best reason to get out of jail quickly, though, is that you will find it hard to work on your case with your lawyer from behind bars.
Soon after your arrest, you will be told how much bail you need to pay to be bailed out of jail. In many cases, the amount of the bail is so high that you fear you will never be released. If you cannot afford to pay child support, chances are good that you cannot afford to pay the full bail amount either. Fortunately, there is an alternative to paying that high bail amount. Outside bail agencies specialize in getting people out of jail for a fraction of the full bail. You can often find bail bonding agencies located near the jail. You or a loved one simply makes contact with the bail bonding agent and pays the small fee (it may be known as a premium), and you can be released in mere hours. To find out more, contact a company that offers bail bond services in your area and gain the freedom from jail you need.