Many children are raised by single mothers or fathers. Child support is an important—and sometimes, main—source of income for these families. But sadly, some custodial parents and their children never receive the child support they are owed. In 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that approximately 40% of the child support owed to parents throughout the country was never paid.
Failing to make child support payments can lead to a number of serious consequences. Some of these consequences can even have a long-term impact on your finances. Here’s what you need to know about the link between missed child support payments and your credit score:
How Child Support is Enforced
If the custodial parent has not received child support, she has the right to ask the court to enforce the order. The court has the authority to enforce the child support order and collect the missed payments by garnishing wages, seizing assets, and applying the non-custodial parent’s tax refund to the amount owed. The non-custodial parent could also face other consequences, including jail time, license suspension, and passport denial for failing to make child support payments.
Will Missed Child Support Payments Affect Your Credit Score?
If missed or late child support payments are reported to the court, the clerk of the Superior Court will record this information. Recording missed or late payments automatically creates a claim against the non-custodial parent, which may or may not appear on his credit report.
If the non-custodial parent owes more than $1,000 in child support, this debt will be automatically reported to credit agencies. Unpaid debts and missed payments can drastically lower your credit score, making it more difficult for you to gain approval for loans in the future. Anyone who runs a credit check on you will see this outstanding debt, so you may be viewed as a risky borrower. This may make it hard for you to open new credit cards, finance a new home, or purchase a vehicle. Don’t expect your credit score to immediately bounce back up, either. Debts can stay on your credit score for a period of seven years, so this mark on your record can affect you for years to come.
If you are involved in a child support dispute, seek legal representation from the family law attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC right away. Let our experienced attorneys fight to protect your child’s best interests. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation.