After a divorce or separation, it may be hard to make the proper adjustments to your new life. Not only did you have to wrestle with complex court processes for months, but you were probably hit with serious legal fees and support demands. Bouncing back to cover your spouse’s or children’s expenses after such an event can be extremely challenging. Maybe you recently lost your job, suffered a serious injury, or just can’t seem to make ends meet like you used to. Whatever the case, support payments can often add to that burden and make it extremely difficult to stay on top of your finances and your bills.
If you have been accused of failing to pay child or spousal support, you could be up against serious consequences and penalties. If a judge deems that there was no “good cause” for your lack of provision, you may be convicted and be forced to spend time in jail, on probation, and cover additional expenses for your former spouse or partner. Your future and financial security could be on the line, so make sure you act accordingly during this time!
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Under the law, you are obligated to make support payments according to your divorce or child support agreement. Failing to do so is considered criminal nonsupport and is a Class A misdemeanor. However, if the total amount of missed support is more than a year’s worth, your offense could be increased to a class D felony, bringing much more severe penalties. One of the best defenses to these charges is a valid cause that prevented you from making payments.
On the other hand, if a parent or former spouse knowingly and willingly withholds payments without any justification, they may face criminal prosecution. If convicted, you may be required to make a lump sum payment to make up for any dates missed or may be ordered to slowly pay it back in addition to the regular monthly payments.
Life after divorce or separation is challenging, especially with the obstacle of making ends meet and covering support payments. If you find yourself struggling to keep up with spousal or child support or have already fallen behind and are now facing charges, make sure you retain legal counsel right away. Our Columbia criminal defense attorneys can step in and advocate on your behalf, ensuring your rights remain protected and your voice is heard.
Reach out to Holder Susan Slusher, LLCor fill out a free case evaluation today.