April 25, 2013 By Paul Wallin

When the court orders a parent to pay child support and that parent fails to make the payments or only partially makes the payments, the past due child support or child support debt is termed as in “arrears.”

Reducing or Negotiating Child Support Arrears

Child Support Debt
A child support family law attorney can help you get through this difficult period of time.

Depending on whom you owe money to, your child support debt arrears or debt can be reduced or negotiated. In most cases, arrears owed to the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) are not negotiable. This is primarily because the money is used to reimburse the county for support they provided to the other parent.

On the other hand, if you owe money directly to the parent, the arrears can be reduced if the parties can reach a mutual agreement. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience in successfully negotiating a reduction in child support debt arrears.

Consequences of Child Support Arrearage

The consequences for child support debt in arrears can be harsh and last for a long time. If you owe child support, the following are some of the consequences you may face because of child support arrearage:

• You may face a misdemeanor under Penal Code section 270 for willful failure to provide necessary care to a child, which could lead to a sentence of up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000;
• You may be held in contempt of court and sentenced to up to one year in county jail and fined up to $5,000;
• You may have to pay a significant amount of interest for child support arrearage, accumulating at 10% per year;
• Your driver’s license or other state professional licenses may be suspended;
• The federal government can refuse to renew your passport;
• Your credit score can be negatively impacted;
• Your tax refunds, social security, unemployment, state disability insurance, worker’s compensation awards, and lottery winnings can be garnished to pay arrears;
• Funds may be seized from your bank accounts;
• The government can order a lien against any property you own in the county; and
• Failure to pay arrears 30 days after they are due may subject you to a penalty assessment of up to 72% of the arrearage amount.

It is important to remember that the court has no power to modify or terminate past-due support obligations or the interest that has accrued. Child support debt can become a serious problem that destroys your credit and harms your ability to find a job or even the ability to purchase a car or a house. To protect your future, you need an experienced child support attorney to help you in your child support case.

Finding an Experienced Child Support Debt Arrears Attorney

If you or someone you know faces child support arrearage, you will need a skilled Southern California child support attorney to help you through this difficult and complex process. At Wallin & Klarich, we have helped people with child support arrearage for over 30 years. Call us today at (888) 749-7428. We will be there when you call. We have offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are ready to help go over your options.

Call us today at (888) 749-7428 or fill out our intake form online. We will be there when you call.

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