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Can failure to pay child support impact my credit score?

| Nov 26, 2019 | Child Support |

When a child support order is issued in North Dakota, the supporting parent is expected to make the payments on time and in full. In some instances, however, these noncustodial parents fall behind on payments. For some, there are extenuating circumstances that prevent them from keeping up with their child support payments. In others, there is an ongoing child support dispute, and they make the mistake of not paying what is owed as part of the acrimony.

Regardless of why it is taking place, the failure to pay child support can cause serious problems for both the noncustodial parent and the custodial parent. Understanding what steps the state will take to get those payments is critical considering that it can impose penalties on noncompliant parents. One strategy that is frequently used is to report the delinquent payments to credit reporting agencies. To avoid this problematic step or to deal with issues that led up to it, having legal help can be crucial.

Parents who owe past-due support typically receive a notification in the mail about it before informing credit card monitors of the delinquency. Once it is reported, it can cause a myriad of problems for the parent. This includes a reduced credit score, issues getting credit, problems renting a place to live, the trouble buying a home, obstacles buying an automobile, and challenges getting certain jobs. For many people, the missed payments are little more than a misunderstanding or a disagreement with the custodial parent. Still, it is wise to keep the agency abreast of any issues that affect one’s ability to pay, such as a job change or job loss, as well as the need for assistance to handle a difficult time.

When owed child support is paid, the noncustodial parent will be reported as current on the payments. However, the information of the past-due child support might stay on the credit report. Before the situation gets out of hand and there is a need to report unpaid child support to credit agencies, it may be useful to contact a legal professional to try to come to a reasonable resolution such as a modification of the order or a payment plan. Calling for legal assistance with child support can be key to successfully resolving these issues and should be done as soon as possible.

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