When people don't pay child support: Negative credit impacts

It is unfortunate that many people in Minnesota either fail to pay their court-ordered child support completely or fall behind and become delinquent with their payments. Failure to pay child support as directed can lead to many serious consequences. In addition to court sanctions, people who fail to pay may also experience serious damage to their credit reports.

The law allows the agencies that are responsible for collecting child support to report delinquencies to the major credit reporting bureaus. While negative credit information will generally remain on a person's credit report for seven years, new reports for child support delinquencies may be made monthly. This could renew the negative information, making it potentially stay on the delinquent parent's credit for much longer.

Failing to pay child support may make it more difficult for the parent to be able to get approved for loans and mortgages, and they may also find it more difficult to secure employment. Sometimes, parents fall behind on their child support payments because of financial difficulties caused by a job loss or demotion.

Child support is ordered because both parents are expected to contribute to the upbringing of their child. It is very important for parents who are directed to pay child support to follow the courts' orders. If a parent suffers a financial setback, he or she may want to file a motion to modify the support amount with the court as soon as possible. An attorney might be able to draft and file the motion and potentially litigate the matter on his or her client's behalf. The parent should continue to pay the ordered amount until the court grants a reduction.

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