In Georgia, failure to pay child support can result in being found in contempt of court, wage garnishment, imprisonment, and license revocation. Other states have their own punishments for a failure to pay child support. The state of Texas recently enacted a policy that will tie payment of child support to the ability to renew your car registration. Texas to tie child support to car registration, by Marcelino Benito, WXIA, August 24, 2016, 11alive.com. Beginning in December, if you are six months behind on your child support obligation, you will be unable to renew your car registration until you start paying child support again. The Texas Attorney General estimates that this will affect 1,000 to 2,000 parents across the state each month. Thus, it could force a substantial amount of noncompliant child support payors to at least attempt to become compliant with their financial obligation for the support of their children. Critics of the new policy argue that the Tax Assessors offices are going to bear the brunt of the blame when registrations are denied, and express concern that more people will just drive without registrations rather than pay child support.
There are always going to be detractors who don’t agree with child enforcement policies for one reason or another. Many people don’t agree with imprisoning those who can’t pay child support because it takes away their ability to earn money to pay the support. The same goes for license revocation. If you take away a person’s driver’s license, it makes it more difficult to get to work. In addition, if you take away a person’s professional license, how can they legally work at all to earn the money to pay child support? However, all these policies all serve the same purpose – take something important away from a noncompliant parent in hopes that it will convince them to pay child support. If a parent isn’t paying child support because they simply cannot afford it, a judge will most likely allow that parent work out a payment plan or even modify the child support obligation. If you are unable to pay, explain your financial situation to the court and bring back up documentation. Hopefully this will allow you to work out a payment plan and avoid the punishments explained above.