In the majority of cases each state establishes unique child support laws. However the federal government can become involved if a person is more than two years behind on payments. Any parent who owes back child support must pay the debt in full regardless of the child's age.
The United States government requires that all parents provide adequate care for their children, according to Moneycrashers.com. Because of this requirement those parents who are court ordered to pay support and cannot fill their obligation face serious consequences. These penalties of non-payment vary form state to state. The more common penalties used include but are not limited to wage garnishment, seizure of tax refund, property seizure and possible jail time.
However when there is a parent who is obligated to pay and cannot other options do exist. If an individual has a change in their financial situation it is recommended they reappear before the court and explain the issue. The first step for this person would be to make contact with a lawyer who specializes in family law. In many cases a reasonable solution can be found, states Moneycrashers.com. This solution is often found through suspension of interests, re-determining of back child support or equitable forgiveness.