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Those who fail to pay child support could face jail time

There are many parents who may not realize what could happen if they stop or never pay their child support obligations. Custodial parents do have the right to pursue a number of enforcement options if child support goes unpaid. In Maryland and elsewhere, one enforcement option is a jail time.

Those who are ordered to pay child support, but fail to do so or fall behind, may be arrested if other attempts to collect are unsuccessful. After being arrested, they will be required to go to court to make new payment arrangements, which will hopefully result in payment plans that are affordable. This is something that recently happened to a dozen people in another state.

In a nearby state, 10 men and two women were arrested in an overnight sweep for their failure to make child support payments. In all, these 12 individuals are behind just over $77,000 in support payments owed for a total of 17 children. When an arrest warrant is issued, one may turn him or herself in or -- as was done in this instance -- authorities can come to one's home.

While these arrests occurred in another state, this is something that can happen in Maryland as well. This can be avoided, though, by doing one's best to keep child support payments current or by trying to renegotiate the terms of a support order. Falling behind on support payments happens and taking swift action before enforcement actions are taken would be wise. This can be done by seeking a permanent modification in court.

Source:, "Montgomery County sheriff's deputies round up alleged child support scofflaws", Carl Hessler Jr., March 10, 2016

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