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What Happens If You Don’t Pay Child Support In Maryland?


Right after a divorce, spouses with children will be asked to pay child support. Child support obligations are legally binding and, as such, can, and will, be enforced.

A parent who chooses to avoid fulfilling their child support obligation will face a number of different consequences. Being aware of these consequences makes it easy to understand why avoiding one’s child support obligations is a bad idea. 

What Happens If You Violate A Child Support Order? 

A parent who violates a child support order will face a number of consequences. The most notable consequences are as follows:

  • A fine of no more than $100.
  • Up to 3-years in prison.

Outside of those consequences, a parent who fails to pay child support will still need to fulfill their child support obligation. To ensure this obligation is met, the court may invoke the following consequences:

  • A lien on that parent’s wages, ensuring that the money is collected.
  • A probationary period for the parent who violated their child support order.
  • A contempt of court charge; although, this is quite rare.
  • A restriction on the non-paying parent’s passport, preventing it from being renewed.

No matter what, a parent’s child support obligation will be fulfilled. 

How Is Child Support Collected? 

To ensure that the terms of a child support order are fulfilled, the court may take a number of actions. Some of these actions are as follows:

  • The required child support sum will be deducted from the non-paying parent’s wages.
  • The required child support sum will be deducted from the non-paying parent’s tax refund.

Each one of these actions can, and will, be used to secure the child support that a parent is legally obligated to pay. These actions go hand-in-hand with the consequences of violating a child support order. 

When Does Not Paying Child Support Become A Federal Crime? 

A number of circumstances can lead to the act of not paying child support becoming a federal crime. Some of the most notable circumstances that can lead to this situation are as follows:

  • The non-paying parent has moved to another state and has not paid child support.
  • The non-paying parent has not paid any child support for a duration greater than one-year.
  • The non-paying parent owes more than $5,000 in unpaid child support.

Each one of these circumstances can lead to the following consequences:

  • A fine of no more than $250,000.
  • Up to 2-years in prison.

The financial consequences of a federal non-payment of child support charges are greater than Maryland’s charges  and, as such, should always be avoided. 

Do You Need Legal Help? 

If you need legal assistance with a child support claim in Maryland, it can be greatly beneficial to contact a trusted Bel Air child support lawyer. The lawyers at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in criminal and family law, including violent crimes. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.





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