Child Support Troubles
So let’s say the worst has happened and you’ve gotten behind on child support. Now you owe a big balance or you get a rear-edge judgment against you off the tail end of your divorce or your paternity case. You owe money to the ex. What is the best way to handle that?
My name is Brian L. Jackson. I’m a father’s rights attorney in Tulsa here with Dads.Law where fathers are not disposable and I want to talk to you about the idea of owing large amounts of money to your ex.
The Importance of Paying Off the Debt in a Lump Sum
My advice to clients normally is if you have the ability to pay that off in a lump sum or sell it for a lump sum, do it. Even if it means you have to borrow that money like you have to refinance your house or take a loan against your car or whatever. It’s usually in your best interest in most situations. Pay it off in a lump sum and here’s why.
Let’s say that just as a for instance let’s say that you take a personal loan from the bank and you don’t pay them. What happens? Well eventually they’re going to get around suing you. If they win they get a judgment against you. They can garnish your bank account. They can garnish your paycheck. They can make you show up for a type of hearing called an asset hearing where they ask you questions about what your assets are, where you have money, what do you own, what you earn, where you bank, that kind of thing. And they’re paying the butt, don’t misunderstand me.
But the really important thing there is as a general rule, the bank can’t put you in jail for not paying a debt off. Now contrast that with a child support debt or an alimony debt. If you don’t pay that debt, she can file contempt on you. That carries up to six months in county. So in other words she can put you in jail.
The Consequences of Owing Money to Your Ex
Best way I can describe this to you in the most blunt terms possible is owing money to your ex is like owing money to the mob because she can mess with you in ways that almost nobody else can. And the only thing that’s kind of comparable to this would be like if you owe a tax debt or if you owe criminal fines because those you can get put in jail for. But most types of debts, even judgment debts, you cannot be jailed for except for child support and alimony. If you owe those types of money then yeah you can get put in jail for that.
So it is usually in your best interest to pay it off in a lump sum as early as possible while you are in a position to say I have some certitude that I can pay this. If you get up a creek later you’re always better off defaulting to a private creditor. Not that I’m suggesting you should do that but you’re better off defaulting that than defaulting on a debt to your ex because the creditor can’t put you in, generally speaking, can’t put you in jail.
Considerations for Payment Plans and Seeking Legal Help
Now if you really can’t come up with a lump sum you can put it on payments. That is usually something that can be done. Usually you get up to 40 months to pay it off but the risk with that is if things go south for you, you lose your job, you know you find yourself ill, you get injured, whatever, well you still owe that money and it’s still enforceable through contempt proceedings that could end with you going to jail. And you can end up spending more money defending yourself to stay out of jail because you’re going to have to hire counsel to deal with that.
So usually you’re better off to pay it off in a lump sum. If you really can’t then you can pay it off in payments. If you have questions about that where you do owe money you need a good lawyer. One place you can find a good lawyer is at dads.law where fathers are not disposable.
Get a Free Consultation Today
If you find yourself behind on child support payments and need guidance, contact us at dads.law for a free consultation. Our experienced lawyers are here to help you navigate through this challenging situation.