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Understanding child support enforcement

70448784_S (1).jpgYou may hear stories about people in Wichita going to prison for having missed child support payments. If and when such an obligation is imposed on you, your love and concern for you children likely prompts you to commit to never falling behind on any payments. Yet you cannot predict the future, and events may transpire that put your ability to pay into jeopardy. Many child support obligors have come to us here at the Stange Law Firm over the years concerned about their ability to make their payments. While financial struggles do indeed happen, you should avoid missing payments as much as you are able. 

Your hesitancy to make your financial struggles known (especially to your ex-spouse) is understandable, yet the penalties that can accompany child support arrears (and the public stigma that comes with them) can often be quite severe. According to the Kansas Department for Children and Families, you have 30 from the date that a child support payment becomes due before it is officially considered late. Once it is late, Child Support Services is there authorized to initiate enforcement action. The most common form of action is an Income Withholding Order that authorizes your employer to automatically deduct your arrears from your paycheck. Other forms of enforcement can include: 

  • Consumer Credit Bureau reporting
  • Drivers' license suspension 
  • Passport or recreational license denial
  • Intercepting your tax return

The court issuing an order of contempt against (which could result in your incarceration) may or may not happen if you miss a single payment, but it is best not to take the chance. If you are struggling to afford your payments, it is better to immediately have the court review your obligation to see about a potential modification. 

More information on paying child support can be found throughout out site.

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