You do your best to get along with your ex-spouse and take good care of the child you share while building a life for yourself in Tennessee. That said, there may come a time either when you cannot make child support payments due to a loss of income, or because you do not agree with how your ex-spouse uses the money you send.

Before you go through with not paying your child support, let MoneyCrashers.com help you understand what you risk by failing to meet your obligation. Use the information to stay on the right side of the law.

A lot is at stake

The first thing to remember with child support payments is that they are set by the court. That means you go against a court order when you fail to make your payments. If you fail to pay child support, law enforcement can arrest and jail you, authorities could seize your real estate property, you may have your driver’s license suspended, or you could even lose your business license. Rather than receiving a tax refund, the court could snatch it away from you and use it to pay your child support.

Keep the lines of communication open

If your financial situation keeps you from paying child support, do not suffer in silence. Let your ex-spouse and the court know of your situation, even if you feel there is a slight chance that you may not meet your obligation. The court can work with you to figure things out.

Consider a modification

Maybe your financial hardship will last indefinitely. If so, look into a modification. Know that it is uncommon for the court to decrease your child support amount if you willingly quit your job rather than get laid off.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.