How much time can I get for not paying my child support? 23 Answers as of June 23, 2013

I just wanted to know how much time can I do if I don't pay my child support.

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
You can be sentenced to 6 months in jail for each month you do not pay. Child support is an ongoing monthly item, if you don't pay for 12 months, that is 12 contempt sanctions. Each Contempt sanction carries a maximum jail sentence of 180 days. A court can stack them, or run the concurrent, or even probate them and it can be anywhere from 0 days to 180 per occurrence. So, if you commit 12 counts of contempt, the "maximum" amount of time you could be sentenced would be six years, don't pay for 6 months, the maximum sentence would be 3 years, etc.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 9/24/2011
Colucci and Associates
Colucci and Associates | Paul Colucci
Failure to pay child support is a civil contempt problem. Through difference means, incarceration can be almost indefinite.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/20/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
The answer depends on what is occurring. You can be jailed for civil contempt where a court may impose a term that is likely to lead to compliance. There are also misdemeanour charges where 90 days is possible. Federal charges may also apply under the deadbeat parent’s punishment act where much longer terms may be imposed.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 9/20/2011
George Pecherek & Associates, P.C.
George Pecherek & Associates, P.C. | Andrew John Hawes
The better question to ask yourself is why do you not want to pay your child support. If you are having a hard time making payments based on the fact that you don't have the money, you can petition the court to lower your payments.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 9/20/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
It depends on the amount and the reason for not paying; you may wish to modify the award if you are unable to pay it.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 9/20/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    Depends-6 months for contempt of court. If you are criminally charged with misdemeanors-9 months for every 90 days of non-payment. If felony, I believe it is now 6 years for every 120 days of non-payment.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    Since non-payment of support is a civil contempt matter, the amount of time would be left to the discretion of the judge. Prior to being placed into custody however, the courts will take other actions to motivate you to pay, such as revocation of a driver's license and passport, garnishment of wages and income taxes, revocation and denial of any professional licenses and then finally jail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    In Georgia, you can get a year in jail each time you fail to pay for 30 days.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    You can initially get 6 months in jail for Civil Contempt, then 6 months for each infraction after that. Talk to a lawyer to consider filing for modification or strategizing some other more productive way.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    5 days for each charge of contempt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    Pay your child support if you can. If you can't afford to pay it all, pay something each time support is due. If you have no income, file an Order to Show Cause to modify child support without delay. The sentence for failure to pay child support depends upon who prosecutes you. If you are prosecuted and held in contempt of court for failure to pay child support, the first sentence is likely two days (with or without an additional fine), but the 2nd contempt and subsequent contempts result in escalating sentences and fines. If you are prosecuted by the county or state in a criminal case, the penalties can be much higher.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Law Office of Rhonda Ellifritz | Rhonda Ellifritz
    It would be better to sort this out and get on a payment arrangement rather than going to jail. Going to jail does not wipe your debt clean, and will only put you further behind.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    It depends on how the action is filed. If the DCSS files it as contempt of court, then you can get usually up to five days for each count (month not paid). If it is referred to the prosecution, it can be filed as a criminal offense for failure to follow court order and that is a misdemeanor. Most misdemeanors carry penalties of a maximum of six months or one year of jail time. There is not usually a minimum jail time for these offenses.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    That isn't possible to answer because nonpayment of child support is not a crime under Colorado law. If you fail to pay, a court can find you in contempt and in some cases could confine you to jail until you pay what is owed. It is entirely up to the judge based on the facts and circumstances and the reasons you fail to pay.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    They can put you in jail with a "purge" amount, and you won't get out until the "purge" amount is paid. Even if they don't put you in jail, they can suspend your drivers' license, garnish your bank accounts, garnish your wages, all sorts of stuff. If you are unable to pay your child support due to a financial change, you should file for a modification immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    Manhattan Family Law Attorney
    Manhattan Family Law Attorney | Paul W. Matthews
    In NYS 6 months.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Maximum: up to 6 mos., but that's highly unlikely. The DA will ask that you pay the current support + 20% of the current amount, to be applied toward the past due support amount. If you do that, you shouldn't go to jail. 7
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    You can be placed in jail and granted work release to go to work and stay in jail at night and on the weekend until your arrears are satisfied.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
    Depends. Could be indefinite. The real sin is not failing to pay child support. The sin is failing to obey a court order. You would be in contempt of court.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    It varies with the individual circumstances of the case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/23/2013
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    If you are asking how much time in jail you can get, the answer is 5 days for every charge you are convicted. Every month you fail to pay would constitute one contempt count. Thus, if they are charging you for 12 months missed payments that would be 12 contempt counts and you could be given 60 days in jail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/19/2011
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