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Chandra E. Miller

A Northern California Family Law Firm

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Examining potential jail time for failure to pay child support

| May 1, 2015 | Child Support

When parents in California share a child but are no longer together, the issue of failure to pay child support can arise. This can affect prominent people or ordinary citizens. It can lead to legal problems including jail time. Parents who fail to pay what they’re supposed to in child support are commonly pigeonholed as “deadbeat” parents. In some circumstances, however, they work in low-paying jobs and are themselves poor.

The question that frequently comes up in these situations is whether or not it is fair for these people, many of whom are minorities, to be confronted by harsh penalties for delinquent payments. In examining these realities, many believe that potential jail time is meant to spur the payments being made on time and in its entirety. Others, however, think that jail results in a cyclical increase in problems from jail to a lack of employment to greater debt.

Paychecks can be garnished, bank accounts seized, licenses suspended and jail time assessed. Often, this is seen as a punishment of poor people who simply don’t have the money to get caught up on unpaid child support. While there is a belief that people who cannot support their children shouldn’t conceive in the first place, that is not practical and doesn’t apply to situations in which married couples have children as part of building a family.

When there is a child support dispute in which payments are not up-to-date, those who are concerned about mounting legal issues that can culminate in jail time need to understand how to deal with the situation. With child support cases and the threat of jail time looming, speaking to an experienced legal professional may help with dealing with the matter.