Child support debt is a major issue for divorced parents. Getting your life on track after a divorce can be a challenging task. Adjusting to meeting all your expenses on a single paycheck and adjusting to single life again is not easy, and adding child support payments often feels overwhelming. A 2015 NPR report found that there is more than $113 billion in unpaid child support in the United States. Non-custodial parents who fall behind on child support payments might be in a panic about what those delinquent payments might be doing to their credit report.
How does delinquent child support show up on my credit report?
When you owe more than $1,000 in delinquent child support, the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) can report your debt to the credit reporting agencies, who can list it as a tradeline or delinquent account on your credit report. Having delinquent child support on your credit can have a negative effect on your credit score. In some cases, being behind on child support payments can be as bad a hit to your credit as if you had missed a mortgage payment.
This can make it difficult to get new lines of credit. It could keep you from qualifying for a mortgage and it could even tarnish promising job prospects if a potential employer runs a credit inquiry while performing a background investigation on you.
If you are behind on child support payments and you receive a delinquency letter from the CSEA, it is a smart idea to contact them quickly and find a way to resolve the debt as soon as possible before your delinquency gets reported to the credit bureaus.
Child support enforcement
If you are owed child support, there are ways in which you can encourage your co-parent to pay. As the amount of delinquent child support and the number of days since the last payment increases, the consequences for non-payment grow increasingly intense. Your Annapolis family law attorney can send your former spouse a letter requesting payment; and they can petition the court for a court order demanding that they bring their child support arrears current or face penalties such as wage garnishment. The Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration has additional tools such as federal and state income tax refund offset, passport denial, suspension of a driver’s license and professional licenses and other enforcement tools to encourage payment of child support.
With more than 30 years of combined legal experience, the family law attorneys at Cynthia H. Clark & Associates, LLC, are here to help families like yours end their child support disputes throughout Maryland. You are welcome to contact us or call 410.921.2422 to reserve a consultation today at our Annapolis-based office.