Non-payment of Child Support: License Revocation
Child support payment obligations are critically important, and the courts in California do not take kindly to parents who fail to meet this obligation in a timely manner. If you do not pay the requisite amount of child support, fall behind in payments, or make payments later than the stipulated date, your driver’s license or even your professional practice license in California can be suspended or withheld.
The Department of Child Support Services in California (DCSS) will play an active role in this matter. If the delay in making child support payment is at least 30 days, the DCSS will submit your name to the California DMV for suspending your driver’s license. The same notification will also be sent to other licensing agencies in the state for the suspension or withholding of your professional as well as recreational licenses, if any.
Procedure of License Suspension
After the licensing agency in the state (such as the California DMV) receives notification from the DCSS, it will send you a notice about it. If it is the first instance, you will get 150 days to give your response to the licensing agency. During this 150-day period, you can work with the DCSS to fulfill your legal obligations regarding child support.
In absence of your response to the licensing agency within the deadline, your license will be suspended. If the issue occurs again, you will again receive a letter from the licensing agency, but this time you will only get 30 days to provide your response, failing which your license will be suspended.
What should you do if you receive a notification?
Once you have been notified by California DMV or any other state licensing agencies, you should get in touch with a skilled divorce attorney right away to take the next steps. Your attorney will guide you about communicating with the child support agency in Orange County that is dealing with your case.
With your attorney’s help, it is possible to avoid license suspension or get the license released. Remember that each child support non-payment case is unique and the conditions for the release can vary from one case to another. Your attorney will recommend you to always communicate to your child support agency if you are facing a financing difficulty in making a support payment.
After you have received the “Notice of Intent to Suspend” from the licensing agency, you can discuss with the DCSS office in person regarding the release of your license. In certain cases, the discussion with DCSS can also be held over the phone for releasing of your license. If you meet one of the following conditions, you may qualify for release of license over the phone:
- You have obtained a court order for the release of your license
- Full or partial child support payments are being made by your employer
- You are receiving unemployment benefit, a part of which is used to make your child support payments
- You are receiving cash aid from CalWorks
- You are receiving benefits under General Relief
You will have to make an in-person appointment with the office of DCSS, if you fail to meet at least one of the above-listed conditions. You should be aware that if you have previously received a Notice of Intent to Suspend License, a failure to pay the full child support obligations on time will result in automatic suspension of your license.
Even if it is your first time that you have received such notice, the license release will only happen when you make at least the latest monthly due child support payment as well as a good faith payment towards the past arrears.
Is it Possible to Suspend the License a Second Time?
If you fail to make the complete child support payment within 45 days, the DCSS can resubmit your driver’s license for suspension. The only way to avoid this license suspension is that you either make your support payments each month on time and in full, or you request the court for a child support modification order.
You should also note that if your child support arrears accumulate to $2,500 or more, the US State Department will deny your application for issuing a new passport or renewing an existing one until you clear your arrears in full.
Get Skilled Legal Representation for Your Child Support Case
Choose a knowledgeable child support attorney in Orange County for a strong legal representation of your case in matters related to child support order enforcement, modification, license release, or relief from other potential civil and criminal charges.