What Happens If Child Support Isn't Paid?

The child support program works with both parents to collect consistent, timely child support payments. When child support is not paid regularly, we can take actions to collect monthly and past-due amounts. These various types of actions can affect the parent’s finances, mobility, and public record and include:

  • Finances
    • Income withholding
    • Levy financial accounts
    • Intercept a state or federal income tax refund
    • Withhold other one-time or recurring federal payment such as retirement, salary, payments to vendors or contractors, and other federal payments
  • Mobility
    • Deny a passport
    • Suspend licenses (driver’s, occupational, and recreational)
  • Public Record
    • Set liens on property
    • Report child support debts to credit bureaus

Additionally, child support offices can connect parents to employment and other services to help parents become more self-sufficient and able to pay their child support.

Passport Denial

The Passport Denial Program, which is part of the Federal Offset Program, is designed to help states enforce delinquent child support obligations.

Top Resources

Collecting Child Support – Chapter 5 Child Support Handbook

Information on how child support is collected

Child Support and the Insurance Match Program

Provides information on the background of the federal insurance match program

Overview of the Administrative Offset Program

Provides an overview of the Administrative Offset Program, which allows for the interception of certain federal payments

Multistate Financial Institution Data Match

Provides an overview of the Multistate Financial Institution Data Match program

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