What happens if a parent refuses to pay child support?
All states impose criminal penalties upon parents who refuse to pay child support, and several states even condition the renewal of driver’s licenses upon payment. In addition, the federal government applies penalties to parents who flee the state to avoid paying child support (so long as the parent owes more than $5,000 or has not paid support in over a year.) Offenders of the federal law could face stiff penalties and/or jail time.
Many states also provide for the ability to garnish a non-custodial parent’s wages to pay for support, making it easier for the parent to collect; automatic withdrawal also offers a sense of security.