Call Today 253-265-7515
Monthly Archives

January 2024

Broken Heart - The Law Office of Amanda Cook, PLLC

Navigating Child Support Challenges in Washington: What Happens When Payments are Missed

By | Divorce | No Comments

In Washington, child support is not a discretionary commitment—it’s a legal obligation. When parents fail to meet this obligation, severe consequences can unfold. Life’s challenges, such as financial constraints, often leave well-intentioned parents unable to pay. In this exploration, our child support attorney sheds light on the repercussions of non-payment in Washington.

Consequences of Missed Payments: A Serious Matter

Failure to meet child support commitments can result in a cascade of consequences, including:

  1. Wage Garnishment: Your employer may be directed to withhold a specified amount from your wages, ensuring timely support payments.
  2. Property Liens: Your property may face liens, impacting your ability to buy, sell, or refinance.
  3. Seizure of Personal Property: Tangible assets, like your car, may be subject to seizure to satisfy outstanding support obligations.
  4. Tax Refund Interception: Unpaid child support could lead to the interception of your tax refunds.
  5. Driver’s License Suspension: Your driver’s license might be suspended, affecting your mobility and daily life.
  6. Professional License Revocation: For those with professional licenses, such as lawyers or doctors, non-payment could lead to revocation.
  7. Passport Restrictions: Inability to obtain or renew a passport could curtail international travel plans.
  8. Unemployment Benefit Garnishment: Even unemployment benefits may be garnished to meet child support obligations.
  9. “Most Wanted” List Placement: You could be listed on the Washington Division of Child Support’s “Most Wanted” list.
  10. Contempt of Court: Contempt charges might be brought, leading to fines or, in extreme cases, imprisonment until payment resumes.

Understanding the Challenges: Reasons Behind Non-Payment

Parents facing financial strains often grapple with circumstances beyond their control:

  • Job Loss or Reduced Hours: Unemployment or reduced working hours can severely impact financial stability.
  • Health Issues: Sickness or disability may hinder a parent’s ability to work and meet support obligations.
  • Incarceration: Legal troubles resulting in incarceration can disrupt financial capabilities.
  • Unexpected Expenses: Unforeseen financial burdens can strain available resources.

Seeking Modification: A Legal Remedy

Facing difficulties doesn’t permit unilateral decisions to cease payments. Proactivity is key. Parents can request a modification of their child support obligation, presenting the request to either a judge or the Division of Child Support. Until approval, the original order’s amount remains owed, emphasizing the necessity of seeking timely modification. The accumulation of unpaid support may incur interest, amplifying financial strain.

Proactive Measures: Seeking Assistance

Swiftly addressing financial challenges is crucial. Seeking the guidance of an experienced child support lawyer is advisable. Legal assistance aids in assembling evidence supporting the modification request, bolstering the case for reduced or suspended payments.

Contact The Law Office of Amanda J. Cook

Child support obligations present real challenges, but proactive measures can mitigate the impact on your life. Avoiding license suspension or incarceration is paramount. Contact our firm for a comprehensive discussion on the viability of requesting a modification and the requisite supporting documentation. The Law Office of Amanda J. Cook stands ready to guide you through these complexities and advocate for your best interests.