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License Suspensions for Past-Due Child Support in California

When child support is first ordered in a paternity, legal separation, or divorce action, the parents are usually new to California’s child support laws, and they are not very familiar with how the system works.

If you are a part of a child support case and you will be receiving or paying child support, it’s important for you to know that there are serious ramifications if the paying parent fails to pay child support.

When a parent falls behind on their child support payments, all kinds of bad things can happen: their bank accounts can be levied, their tax refunds can be taken, liens can be placed on their property, they can be denied a US passport, their wages can be garnished, and various licenses can be suspended.

What Licenses Can Be Suspended?

Many noncustodial parents aren’t aware of this, but all 50 states have laws on the books that say various licenses can be suspended for the failure to pay child support. While each state’s law is different, generally the types of licenses that can be suspended for back child support include driver licenses, professional licenses, business licenses, and occupational licenses, etc.

California is no exception. If you live in California and you fall behind on child support, once you’re past-due by a certain amount, your licenses are at risk of suspension. “Each state imposes its own triggering criteria, meaning the amount of arrears the obligor (the person who owes child support) must owe in order for a license to be suspended; or the amount of time the obligor must be delinquent before suspension occurs,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Licenses suspended in California for child support arrears:

  • Driver licenses
  • Business licenses
  • Occupational licenses
  • Professional licenses
  • Recreational licenses

Next: If I Get Joint Custody, Do I Still Have to Pay Child Support?

In California, license suspensions can be triggered once the paying parent is in arrears of 30 or more calendar days. If you are a noncustodial parent who is dealing with a child support matter, we invite you to contact our San Diego family law firm for professional legal assistance. Contact us today for the help you need!