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
- 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
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