During or after a divorce, your financial situation can easily become strained. Even if you have a solidly middle-class income, you will incur expenses from the divorce while dealing with reduced income at the same time. Parents who receive custody of their minor children can face particularly serious financial issues when learning to live on a single income.
That, along with a parent’s decreased potential for income when caring for kids, is why the courts order the other parent to pay child support. You likely depend on that ordered child support amount to pay your bills, from your rent or mortgage to your car insurance. Child support can also help you buy items you need, like clothing or shoes for the kids, school supplies or even groceries. Without the help of child support, you may struggle to provide the necessities for your family.
What happens when your spouse won’t pay child support?
When your ex stops paying child support, it can leave you in a difficult situation. You may have tried to work with him or her. In some situations, people going through a divorce will quit/change their jobs or even start working jobs that pay under the table to avoid the state’s efforts to withhold child support from their checks.
Thankfully, New Hampshire recognizes that unpaid child support is a serious issue for some parents. If your ex refuses to pay what the order requires, you can seek help during and after your divorce for enforcement.
The state could revoke or suspend your spouse’s driver’s license, professional license or even sporting license for hunting or fishing. Additionally, they could report the delinquency to the credit bureaus. They could also intercept any lottery prizes or federal tax refunds. In some cases, they may even place a lien against your spouse’s assets until the support is paid in full.
Try to work with your spouse, even if there’s no support coming in
It can feel very frustrating to have your financial situation complicated by someone else’s refusal to obey a court order. However, don’t let that encourage you to behave in a similar manner. No matter how you feel, you should not talk negatively about the situation with your children or withhold custody or visitation from your spouse due to non-payment. Working with your spouse is always better than fighting at every step of the process.
Those decisions could provide your spouse with ammunition for custody proceedings as your divorce works through the courts. Instead, do your best to comply with the ordered parenting plan, while taking steps to document how your spouse isn’t. That can help ensure the best outcome to your custody case when the court finalizes your divorce. It will also make it easier to request that New Hampshire takes enforcement actions to collect the support due to you and your children.