If you have the means to pay support, and you refuse to obey the court order, then yes, being sent to prison is a possibility. I would suggest that you file the appropriate motion to modify the support order to something along the lines of what you actually receive in unemployment wages. Also, you should attempt to pay at least a little every month, even though it is not the full amount of the support. These two things will help to keep the big bad DCSS away from you. In any case, you can come back to CA, but best to do as I suggest and work on doing something to modify the order along with at least paying something along the way. Good luck!
Not right off the bat! Being arrested is a few steps in the future. You should consult with an attorney about modifying the support order. If you can’t afford to pay it, it should be changed. Next, talk with an attorney about how to resolve the arrears. Knowledge is power. Don’t stick your head in the sand!
Not paying child support can have very serious consequences.
If the court finds that someone has the ability to pay support but is willfully not paying it, it can find that the person ordered to pay support is in contempt of court. This enforcement tool is generally used only when all others have failed since it can result in jail time for the person who is not paying.
If a parent is late or fails to pay court ordered support payments, the county Local Child Support Agency can do one or more of these to collect support:
• Credit reporting: not paying child support on time can affect a person’s credit rating. The county Local Child Support Agency will report each child support payment to major credit reporting agencies. They also report the failure to pay child support.
• Passport Denial: anytime a person owes more than $5,000 in past due child support, the U.S. State Department will not issue or renew a passport until all past due support payments (also called “arrears”) are paid. If your passport application is denied, you will have to make arrangements with the Department of Child Support to make your child support current before traveling outside the United States.
• Property liens: LCSA will file a lien against the real property (like a house or land) of a parent who owes past due support. When the property is sold, past due support may be paid out of the proceeds for the property.
• Suspending licenses: LCSA can request that permanent, state-issued licensed be suspended or withheld to collect past due child support. The State Licensing Match System is used to match parents who owe child support with business, professional, and driver’s licenses. These licenses include cosmetologists, contractors, doctors, teachers, lawyers, and more.
• Franchise Tax Board Child Support Collection Program: the county Local Child Support Agency must let the Franchise Tax Board know anytime a person is more than $100 and 60 days past due in paying support. The Franchise Tax Board can take funds from bank accounts, rental incomes, royalties, dividends, and commissions. The Franchise Tax Board can also issue an Earnings Withholding Order and take real and personal property, such as vacant land, cash, safe deposit boxes, vehicles, and even boats, to collect child support.
• Income tax intercepts: The Internal Revenue Service and the Franchise Tax Board can also intercept tax refunds to pay past due child support.
• Financial Institution Data Match: many banks, savings and loan institutions, and credit unions in California and the United States report the assets they hold. These assets can be taken for payment of current and past due child support.
• Disability Insurance Benefit Intercept System: LCSA can take part of state disability payments owed to parents who owe child support to pay both current and past due child support.
• Unemployment Insurance Benefit Intercept System: part of state unemployment benefit payments due to the noncustodial parent can be taken to pay both current and past due child support.
• Worker’s compensation appeals board match system: lump sum workers’ compensation awards can be taken to pay past due child support.
Best of luck to you.
Attorney Rebekah Ryan Main
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This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges. We can be visited on the web at www.Main-Law.com or call 909-891-0906.
This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges.