License Suspensions for Child Support Arrears

If you’re like most Orange County residents, you’re well-aware of the fact that your driver license can be suspended for drunk or drugged driving or having too many points on your record. If you hold a professional license, such as a real estate or nursing license, you know that if you’re convicted of a crime, your license can face disciplinary action.

We’re here to tell you that if you’re a noncustodial parent who pays child support, a DUI or a criminal conviction isn’t all you have to worry about. If you fall behind on your child support payments, any licenses that you have may be suspended until you become current on your child support arrears.

“What types of licenses are affected?” While it varies from state to state, generally the licenses that are affected include driver licenses, professional licenses, occupational licenses, and recreational licenses (hunting and fishing).

What California Law Says

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “Each state imposes its own triggering criteria, meaning the amount of arrears the obligor (the person who owes child support) must owe in order for a license to be suspended; or the amount of time the obligor must be delinquent before suspension occurs.

“Once the trigger criteria has been met, certain due process procedures are allowed before suspension of a license, including a notice to the obligor that they are delinquent or in arrears, and the opportunity for the obligor to pay the full amount of arrears, come up with a payment plan with the child support enforcement agency, or request a hearing to object the allegations.”

California licenses affected include:

  1. Driver’s
  2. Business
  3. Occupational
  4. Professional
  5. Recreational

In California, once a noncustodial parent owes 30 or more calendar days of support, the license suspensions are triggered. Fortunately, the State of California does allow restricted driver licenses that allow the parent to drive to and from work if the suspension would cause undue hardship for the obligor.

Related: Are You a Victim of Parental Alienation Syndrome?

Need help with a child support or license suspension issue? Contact our firm to schedule a consultation with an Orange County divorce attorney.