What are the Consequences for not Paying Child Support - Zukerman Law

What are the Consequences for not Paying Child Support

Child support is a financial obligation placed on a parent to help provide for their child’s basic needs. It’s a crucial source of stability and security for children, ensuring they have access to food, shelter, clothing, education, and healthcare. But what happens if a parent neglects these payments?

This blog post will delve into the serious consequences of not paying child support. From financial penalties to legal repercussions, the impact can be significant. 

Zukerman Law Group understands the importance of child well-being and financial responsibility. We’re dedicated to providing our clients with the legal expertise and support they need during challenging times. Keep reading to learn more about the consequences of non-payment and how Zukerman Law Group can advocate for you.

Consequences for not Paying Child Support

Consequences for not Paying Child Support

The consequences for not paying child support can vary depending on the laws in your jurisdiction and the circumstances of the case. Generally, failing to pay court-ordered child support can lead to both civil and criminal penalties. Here are some potential consequences:

1- Salary Garnishment

One of the most common punishments for failing to pay child support on time in Canada is garnishment of wages. For example, you may have neglected to pay child support for any valid reason and neglected to provide a justification for your nonpayment. So, the authorities will take the necessary action against it.

Because of this, if you miss the dates, the court will instantly get in touch with your employer to take money out of your paycheck.

Subsequently, the money withheld will be sent to the accounts of the custodial parent. Based on your past-due payments, they may also be able to collect interest. So, if the court wants to do this, they will reserve all the right to cut money from your paycheck if you don’t pay the child support on time.

2- Retention of any Tax Refunds

Any income tax refund you are due will have money deducted from it if you owe back child support.  As a result, don’t plan to spend your tax refund because you most likely won’t get it.

3- Seizure of Bank Accounts or Properties

This occurs when the amount you owe is greater than the wage garnishment. Consequently, in order to cover the due, the court begins to seize bank accounts or other necessary property to balance the amount.

It could be whatever you possess, such as stocks, savings, house, vehicle, motorcycle, or any other properties. The court reserves the right to take your belongings or bank accounts if you fail to pay child support without a valid grounds.

4- Driver’s License Suspension

Failure to pay child support can result in the suspension of various licenses, including your driver’s license. This action can significantly impact your ability to work and travel.

5- Passport Denial or Revocation

Not paying child support may prevent you from obtaining a new passport or lead to the revocation of an existing one. This could restrict your ability to travel internationally for work or personal reasons.

6- Professional License Suspension

Professional licenses in several professions may be suspended or revoked as a result of unpaid child support. This can make it more difficult for you to make a career in the field you’ve chosen.

7- Fines

In some states, courts may charge small to ransom fines for non-payment of child support payments. Besides, the court can also charge you with additional fines if you don’t pay the child support within the due date without any valid reasons. The amount tends to vary from state to state, depending on their laws.

8- Interest Charges

Missing child support payments can lead to additional charges being added to the amount you owe. This means that the amount you owe will continue to grow until it’s paid in full.

9- Credit Agencies Reports

Missing child support deadlines and failing to even notify the authorities about the reasons can have serious consequences. In many cases, unpaid child support is reported to credit agencies, which can negatively impact your credit score.

Your credit rating might be negatively impacted by just one item alone, which will have an immediate impact on your credit or loans. 

10- Imprisonment

The court rarely sends someone behind bars, depending on the severity of their condition. The prison time varies depending on the province’s rules. However, the good news is you will get your bail whenever you are eligible for clearing all the previous dues of your child support payments.

How to Avoid These Consequences?

How to Avoid These Consequences?

To avoid the consequences of not paying child support, follow these important steps:

Stay Informed

Understand your child support obligations and stay informed about the amount and due dates of payments.


If you are facing financial difficulties or unforeseen circumstances that affect your ability to pay child support, communicate with the relevant authorities promptly. Open communication can sometimes lead to adjustments or temporary arrangements.

Seek Legal Advice

If you believe you have valid reasons for modifying your child support payments, consult with a family law attorney. They can provide guidance on your legal options and help navigate the process of seeking modifications through the court if necessary.

Are you facing challenges with child support payments and seeking modifications? Turn to Zukerman Law Group for expert legal guidance and support.

Our experienced family law attorneys understand the complexities of child support laws and can help you navigate the process of modifying payments. Whether you’re experiencing financial changes or other valid reasons for adjustment, we’re here to advocate for your interests.

At Zukerman Law Group, we provide personalized legal solutions tailored to your unique circumstances. Our team will guide you through the legal options available and represent you in court if necessary to seek modifications that align with your current situation.

Don’t navigate child support modifications alone. Contact Zukerman Law Group today for a confidential consultation and let us help you achieve the best outcome for your family.


Not paying child support can have serious consequences for both your finances and your relationship with your child. By understanding the potential repercussions, you can take steps to avoid them. Remember, child support is about ensuring your child’s well-being. If you’re facing financial hardship, there are options for modifying your child support agreement. Communicate with the other parent and seek legal guidance if necessary. Fulfilling your responsibility can help maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship and ensure your child has the support they deserve.


  • 1- Can you go to jail for not paying child support in BC?1

    The court decides whether the arrears are to be paid all at once or by installments, and can also order jail time if payments aren’t made.

  • 2- Do you have to pay child support if you are unemployed in Canada?1

    If you become unemployed and experience a reduction in income, you are still required to make payments according to your updated income level.

  • 3- How do I get out of child support in Canada?1

    If both parents agree to stop child support, the process is simpler. The recipient parent just needs to provide written consent, and the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) will notify the paying parent to halt payments.

    If the support recipient does not agree that child support should end, the support payor must now go to Court to pursue the ending of the child support.

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Stuart Zukerman

Stuart Zukerman, a graduate of the University of British Columbia, has over 32 years of experience in litigation with a focus on Family Law, Personal Injury, Wrongful Dismissal claims, and Collaborative Divorce & Mediation. He has extensive trial experience in divorce, child custody, spousal support, asset division, and ICBC injury claims. As an accredited Family Law Mediator, he helps resolve disputes without court intervention. Stuart has also authored papers on family law and lectured at CLE courses.