Past Due Child Support

Noncustodial parents are required to pay their court-ordered child support on time and in full.  Once a court orders child support, any unpaid amount continues to accrue and will be owed until the amount is paid or until a new court order states otherwise. This debt is sometimes referred to as arrears. Unpaid child support payments don’t go away when the child turns 18. 

If child support arrears are owed, a variety of collection tools may be used.  These include reporting the debt to the credit bureau, collection from state and federal tax refunds, and a lien against real estate.  If the failure to pay court-ordered support continues, licenses such as driver’s and occupational or professional licenses may be suspended, funds may be seized from bank accounts, or the court may find the noncustodial parent in contempt of court and order him or her placed in jail.

Noncustodial parents
If you cannot meet the full obligation or cannot make the court-ordered payments, contact your local child support office as soon as possible; you may be able to minimize adverse actions. Unpaid child support will still be owed.

The Office of Child Support Enforcement does not have the authority to forgive unpaid child support.

Custodial parties
If you have past-due child support owed to you and the only or last child on the court order is about to turn 18, contact your local child support office to ask about getting a judgment on the arrears.