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Failure to pay child support may negatively affect credit score

It is not uncommon for financial disputes to be the reason for many divorce proceedings in Texas. However, when there are children and child support involved, such conflicts can escalate after divorce. The custodial parent is typically entirely dependent on receiving the child support, while the non-custodial parent may struggle to keep up with obligated payments. The inability to pay the full amount of child support often leads to complete non-payment, which can have consequences that can negatively affect the lives of parents and children.

Nonpayment of child support will remain a state matter until the accumulated amount reaches a level where it would become a federal matter. Many states impose fines and even incarceration for non-payers, and with added interest and penalties, the due amount can only increase. The situation may lead to the custodial parent filing a lawsuit against the parent not honoring the court order.

Such a lawsuit may result in a judgment that will reflect on the individual’s credit report and consequently lower the credit score. This can negatively affect the parent who defaults on child support payments for a very long time. Parents who struggle to pay the full amount of child support may want to pay what they are able, rather than allowing the outstanding amount to accumulate to mountains of debt.

Texas parents may find comfort in knowing that the family court may consider a modification of the original child support court order. The parent would have to prove a significant change of circumstances before the court would allow modification. Non-custodial parents may want to use the available help to guide them through documenting and motivating such a filing. If the application is successfully presented before the situation reaches a stage where imprisonment or lawsuits are initiated, the court may modify the order to an amount that is affordable.

Source: credit.com, "What Happens If You Stop Paying Child Support?", Christine Digangi, June 19, 2014

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