In these times of economic upheaval, individuals are seeking to cut any corner that can possibly save some cash. Many parents who owe child support are finding themselves tempted to skip a payment, or two, or more.
The misconception that not paying child support one month “just adds on to the bill” to pay later without ramifications is a dangerous path to tread and can have farther reaching, and far more costly, consequences than one would imagine.
Despite the obvious moral obligations to support one’s children, failure to pay child support can result in not only a loss of income, but a loss of freedoms. Oregon has many tools available for collecting of child support, including: wage withholdings of up to 50% of net earnings (yes, 50%!), seizure of federal and state tax refunds, garnishment of bank account balances, and placing liens on valuable property. As if these weren’t enough, the state also has authority to revoke your driver’s license, your occupational license, and even freeze your passport, should you owe more than $2500 in back child support. Owing back child support will damage your credit score and, more often than you may think, it can even land you in jail if you are found in contempt of the court order.
So, anyone considering blowing off a child support obligation this month should stop for a moment and think… is it really worth it? If you have had a substantial change in your income, ask your attorney whether you would qualify for a child support modification.