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Child Support License Suspensions in Pennsylvania

Posted By Cairns Law Offices || 28-May-2018

In all 50 states, there are real consequences for not paying child support. Such consequences include wage garnishment, bank account seizures, tax refund interceptions, lottery winning interceptions, driver license suspensions and more.

For the purposes of this post, we’re going to discuss driver license suspensions for the failure to pay child support. This is a fairly important consequence because it’s difficult for people to earn money to pay child support without a valid driver license.

Driver license suspensions for not paying child support are covered under Section 4355 of the Pennsylvania Statutes. Under Sect. 4355(a), where the department has been unable to attach the paying parent’s wages and the amount of child support owed exceeds three months, or where the parent has failed to comply with warrants and subpoenas relating to child support proceedings, the court shall issue an order to the licensing authority to:

  • Prohibit the issuance of a PA driver license,
  • Prohibit the renewal of a PA driver license, or
  • Suspend the person’s driver license.

Before a parent’s driver license is suspended, he or she will receive advance notice. The notice shall explain: 1) the amount of child support owed, 2) when and where the notice can be contested, and 3) that the license will be suspended 30 days after the date the notice was issued to the licensee.

What if I Can’t Pay Child Support?

Suppose you’re in the middle of a divorce and you’re going to be paying your spouse child support. If anything were to happen; for example, if you lost your job or if you became injured or ill and you could not afford your child support payments, our advice is to quickly petition the court for a downward child support modification.

Child support is not retroactive, which means you cannot stop paying or start paying less as of the date that you lost your job or became too sick to work. Instead, your support obligation remains the sameuntil you get the court to modify your payments. Therefore, it’s in your best interests to act quickly if there is any major change in your circumstances.

Related: Our Best Divorce Advice

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