No Child Support
Although there are many parents who simply choose not to provide their necessary child support payments, a majority of people who miss those payments do not do so by choice. On the contrary, most of these people wish they could provide much more to their children. When a person can't afford to pay their child support, it can cause a major rift in his or her entire life. Generally, a parent will say that their children are the most important things in life, so not being able to provide support for them can bring serious stress.
Modification Due to Changed Circumstances
The most common solution for parents who suddenly can't afford their child support payments is to request a modification due to changed circumstances. Basically, this means that your situation and lifestyle have changed since the child support payments were established. If you have lost your job or received a pay cut, you might be eligible to adjust the status of your support payments. However, keep in mind that changes in the lifestyle of your child and the custodial parent can increase your payments as well. Contact your local state child support office for specific information on your situation.
Federal Child Support Enforcement Program
The Federal Child Support Enforcement Program was put in place to stop parents who simply choose not to send their child support payments. It is essentially a team effort between each state's locally run child support offices and the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, or OSCE. An example of their efforts to curb "deadbeat parents" is the Federal Parent Locator Service, a feature of the OSCE that allows them to utilize multiple resources to locate parents in order to acquire the child support payments they owe.
If a parent has the ability to pay their child support but chooses not to, there are steps the state can take in order to enforce the payments and provide the other parent with the money they are due. The most common action taken to enforce child support is garnishing of wages. Essentially, the state will literally take part of the amount the parent has due for child support payments directly out of their paycheck. This helps to deter "deadbeat parents" who purposefully avoid their payments. A similar step the state can take is to use the same type of process to intercept their unemployment compensation. A parent who is avoiding child support payments will be refused to obtain a legal passport. Another way the state can acquire the funds for the child support payments is to get involved with the parent's state and/or federal income tax refunds.
If a person somehow avoids all of these attempts to force them to pay their required child support payments, they will be forced to serve jail time. Obviously, this is the last resort and will happen once a person shows they will try very seriously to avoid any sort of payment or involvement in the process.
In a perfect world, every parent who was owed child support payments would receive them. However, the world is not perfect and some parents simply do not make enough money. In many cases, the amount of money one parent makes does not meet the amount they owe the other parent and those payments are never made.
No Child Support