Can your bank account be frozen if you don't pay child support?

What can happen if you start missing child support payments

Can your bank account be frozen if you dont pay child support?

Paying child support might be a financial struggle, depending where you are in life. However, there are laws in place that make sure you keep at it, and consequences if you don't obey.

What will happen if I don't pay child support?

If you fail to meet your child support payment, you will receive a Notice of Child Support Deliquency. This letter will state that you have 30 days to pay the amount in full.

Failure to pay this bill will result in the Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division (DOR/CSE) freezing your bank account (be it savings, checkings, investment or retirement accounts). The process of holding your bank account hostage to fulfill your child support payment is known as levying. In addition to levying, DOR may usewage garnishing, the act of taking money directly out of your paycheck.

But that's not all! You may also have your driver license suspended.

Exceptions

However, depending on where your money in the bank came from, the DOR/CSE may not be able to freeze your account. Any money generated from the following is off-limits:

  • Transitional Assistance to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC).
  • Transitional Aid to Needy Families (TANF).
  • Emergency Assistance for Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC).
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • State Veteran's Benefits.
  • Any money that does not belong to you (in case you're holding money for a relative or a child because you are their legal guardian).

Contesting the levy

If levying your bank account causes you legitimate hardship (such as making you homeless, losing your job, or keeping you from buying food) you can request the DOR/CSE to unfreeze your account.

If you believe that the DOR/CSE has no right to levy your bank account, you may contend it with a judicial review. Be sure to file the complaint within 45 days of the date of the DOR/CSE's written decision.

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