What happens when one violates Maryland child support laws?

Maryland child support laws are in place to ensure that those who are ordered to pay support do so. In the event that the supporting parent violates the agreement, there are steps that a person can take to receive the payments. Reporting a parent who is not meeting his or her obligations to the authorities might seem like an extreme step, but it is sometimes the only way to get what is owed.

Interception of federal or state tax refunds is a way for the money to be paid. This is known as an offset. The Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) will examine how much is owed and determine whether to use the federal or state offset to recover the funds. Federal applies to $500 or more owed; state is for $150 or more. Official documents and certifications can be suspended if a parent is not paying child support. A passport can be denied if the obligor owed $2,500 or more. The Motor Vehicle Administration can suspend a driver’s license for obligors who are 60 days behind on payments. A person who has a professional license can see that license suspended if they are 120 days behind their payments.

People who get a new job or are rehired for old jobs but have not been making their payments will be found out through the central registry. It is possible that wages will be withheld if a worker, old or new, is not making the required payments to avoid being pursued by child support enforcement. Liens can be taken out, credit agencies can be informed and lottery winnings can be intercepted. Finally, a person can be incarcerated for not making the required payments.

When there is an agreement to pay child support, it is not to punish the parent who is responsible for paying, but to maintain the upkeep of the child. The failure to pay can happen for a multitude of reasons, but child support enforcement will eventually catch up to a parent who is not paying. For child support information and how to pursue payments, a legal professional can be of significant help.

Source: dhr.state.md.us, “Child support enforcement administration,” accessed Sept. 1, 2014

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