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What Happens When You Don’t Pay Child Support

Managing your expenses can be a little complicated sometimes. There are bills that need to be paid. If you are divorced and don’t have custody over your child, there’s also the matter of paying for child support. Managing all those expenses will take a lot of responsibility and careful planning. But what happens if you end up not paying for child support? What happens then?

Wage Garnishment

Just like your bills, child support is one of those things that must be paid. If you end up being behind on your child support payments, then at some point, your wages will end up getting garnished. Getting your wages garnished means a portion of your salary will be deducted in order to pay for your debt. In this case, the debt will be your unpaid child support. The garnishment of your wages begins when the court sends an order to your employer. The latter will be informed that your wage needs to be deducted to pay for your unpaid child support. When the court orders for your wage garnishment begins depends on the state agency handling child support.

Can I Contest This?

Don’t worry if there is a mix-up with your payments. You can contest your wage garnishment. If you can’t afford to pay, you can appeal to the court by sending a complete list of your expenses per month. When the court sees that your expenses are reasonable, then they can make adjustments. If you also made payments that were made but weren’t accounted for, you can also present documentation to the court to help clear things out. Of course, the basis must be reasonable. If you can’t pay because you made a huge, unnecessary expense, then the court has every right to uphold that garnishment.

Managing your expenses can be difficult, especially with all the bills that need to be paid. Add child support to that mix and your finances might get even more difficult to manage. The best way to avoid getting your wages garnished would be to make sure you pay on time. And the best way to make sure you pay on time is to make sure you only spend on what you need and what you can afford. Otherwise, you’d be in a lot of trouble.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at

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