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Consequences for failure to pay TN court ordered child support

The point of seeking child support from a child's parent is to get financial support for the benefit of the child. Financial support can benefit a child of unwed parents in so many ways. It can go toward purchasing healthy food for dinner, school costs, extracurricular activities or anything that will help a child to prosper and grow. This is what makes not receiving Tennessee court-ordered child support so difficult. Unpaid child support represents all the opportunities a child could have had, if only the child support payments were made by the non-custodial parent.

There are several varying levels of consequences for parents who are late or who have defaulted on their court-ordered child support payments. One possibility is jail time. However, this seems counter-productive as a parent spending time in jail is not going to get money to the child that needs it. Sometimes tax refunds are garnished in order to cover the unpaid child support payments. Garnishing wages, seizing property and suspending a license are all ways that can both get the money to the appropriate recipients and get the attention of the parent whose payments are late.

Many of these potential consequences are enough to 'scare' a delinquent parent into making the appropriate child support payments. Court-ordered child support is an ironclad agreement, unless later modified in some way. The State will not always be aware of a parent's inaction in paying their court-ordered child support. Thus, bringing this issue to the State's attention can begin the process of a child receiving the proper financial support that they need.

It is in a child's best interest for their custodial parent to receive child support payments. Parents who are not receiving child support payment should consider their options for enforcing the court's order and getting those payments.

Source: FindLaw, "Enforcement of child support: FAQ's" Accessed Feb. 22, 2016

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