You must pay your child support.
The California family courts take child support orders as serious as a heart attack. Hence, you must pay no matter what. The payments are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Rather, you have to pay your child support before you pay your own bills. Indeed, the legal rate of interest (10%) can accrue if you are late. There can also be other steep penalties. The California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) can do mean things to people who don’t pay. These folks don’t play around.
You will make your judge mad with a failure to pay child support.
If a judge thinks that you are a bad actor because of failure to pay child support, he may subconsciously penalize you in other areas of your case. Judges aren’t supposed to do this, but they are only human. We’ve even seen missed payments affect custody rights.
The parade of horribles for folks that don’t pay.
So, aside from getting hit with penalties and interest when you fail to pay or making the judge mad, there’s a long nasty list of things that that can happen to you. Some of the things DCSS and the courts can do include:
- Taking your Social Security payments.
- Intercepting payments from the offender’s California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS)
- Taking tax refunds.
- Reporting late payments to credit agencies, which will ruin your credit.
- Taking Workers Compensation payments.
- Filing a lien on your house. When your house sells, they get the money.
- Taking your driver’s license.
- Interfering with U.S. passport renewals.
- Taking unemployment benefits.
- Garnishing bank accounts and other assets.
- You could even go to jail.
These are some pretty nasty consequences. You definitely don’t want to mess around with this. So, the best policy is to PAY YOUR CHILD SUPPORT!