The Law Offices of
Dawn K. Gull

Providing Family Law Representation In Allegheny And Butler Counties

Dawn K. Gull

What happens if your ex refuses to pay child support?

by | May 9, 2017 | Child Support |

Ending a marriage is never easy. It can be an emotional, trying time. If your former spouse is acting out and mistreating you or your children, it can become much more difficult. Sometimes, out of spite, a parent can refuse to pay child support during divorce proceedings. Perhaps your former spouse thinks he or she will gain custody during the divorce, or maybe he or she is just trying to hurt you. If your divorce is contentious and involves someone unwilling to cooperate with court orders, you need the help of an experienced Pennsylvania family law and divorce attorney to make things work.

Legal guidance is important to seek enforcement efforts from the court. An attorney can also help document any mistreatment or abuse that happens after you file for divorce. If your former spouse is threatening you, you need help seeking a protective order. Your attorney can also help you in the process of building a case for permanent custody of your children. While it can place an unfair burden on you, your former spouse’s refusal to pay child support can help you establish a valid argument with the courts for full custody of your children when your divorce gets finalized.

Parents are legally obligated to contribute toward the care of their children

The state of Pennsylvania takes several factors into consideration when determining the amount of child support being ordered. One is the standard of living the family is acclimated to. Another is any special needs of the children involved. The income of both parents is also considered. The courts do their best to ensure that support is fair to the parent paying and sufficient to cover basic needs for the children in the custody of the other parent. When one parent refuses to contribute toward the care of his or her children, it can have a serious financial and social impact on the children from the marriage.

The courts issue child support requests via court order. Refusing to pay is a violation of a court order. If your former spouse continues to refuse to pay, there could be legal consequences. Those include seizure of state or federal tax refunds, the seizure of any lottery winnings, the suspension of state issued licenses, such as a driver’s license, professional license, hunting and fishing licenses, and even contempt of court hearings. Your former spouse could even have a passport application denied if he or she refuses to pay child support as ordered.

Get help to have support orders enforced

If your former spouse is refusing to meet court ordered financial obligations to your children, an experienced Pennsylvania attorney can help. He or she can request enforcement efforts and help ensure that your former spouse is held accountable for refusing to pay.