If You Have the Ability to Pay, It’s a Good Idea to Pay
Video Transcribed: The rocket docket, jail, interest in penalties, in personam liens, even the right to have a relationship with your child, these are all consequences if you owe child support. My name is Brian L. Jackson I am a Men’s Divorce Attorney Tulsa with Dads.Law. And I’m going to talk to you today about adoption without consent for failure to pay child support and what you can do to prevent that from happening to you. Last time, we talked generally about adoption without consent and what it is.
Today, I want to focus on the issue of non-payment of child support. Pursuant to the adoption statutes, your consent is not required for adoption if you willfully fail to pay child support for the last 12 out of 14 months prior to the filing of the petition. So this is another reason why it’s a good idea not to fail to pay child support because it can end with your rights to your child being terminated in addition to other negative consequences.
Now, if you are in a position where you can’t pay child support, it’s important to quickly get after it. And the most obvious cause of an inability to pay is if you’re incarcerated. There is a case directly on point dealing with that situation, and I talked about that in a prior video. However, there may be other circumstances that would make it difficult or impossible for you to pay, where you need to get a lawyer involved quickly.
Let’s say that you suffer a serious disability. Let’s say you have some mental health problems, you wind up in the mental hospital for a while. Those grounds by themselves shouldn’t end with you losing your rights to your child, but they can if you don’t pay child support and you don’t get after it. So what can you do to protect yourself?
Well, number one, if you have the ability to pay, it’s a good idea to pay. If the award is excessive, there are ways to get it reduced. You can hire an attorney, file a motion to modify, ask the court to reduce it. You can even ask for reductions on past due balances. But the last thing you want to do and the worst thing to do is try and get away with not paying at all.
The same goes for an ex who is not letting you see the child. There’s a persistent myth that you can withhold child support if you’re not getting to see the child. I’m here to tell you right now, and I’ve said this in past videos and it bears repeating, you do not get to withhold child support as a consequence to your ex if she’s not letting you see your child.
What you should do in that situation issue her ass, to be blunt. File a motion to modify, file a motion to enforce, file content, hammer her, but definitely do not try to resort to self-help leverage by withholding child support because her response very well could be that she has her new man trying to adopt your child.
And yeah, that can happen to you. So don’t let it happen. If you can’t pay, get it taken care of. If you can’t pay that amount, get it taken care of because you don’t want to wind up in court on one of this adoption without consent hearings, facing the real possibility of losing your child forever. And just so you understand, if your rights are terminated and you don’t get that reversed on appeal, they’re gone forever.
There is no going back later to modify. It’s not like if you get an adverse ruling in divorce court where you have a really shit visitation schedule, this is forever and ever. The next time you see that child, they may be a grown-ass adult. So take it seriously. Take the threat seriously.
Now, if she’s hiding from you and you can’t find her to pay her, again, get after it, get a lawyer, file appropriate motions because you don’t want to play around with that. She can try to terminate your rights if she gets a new man. So understand that and take care of business. And guys, if you’re facing a problem with child support or any other legal issue involving your kids, you need to go to dads.law ASAP, where dads are not disposable. Thanks, guys.