Licensed? How Skipping Child Support Can Hurt Your Career


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “In 2018, more than 43 million people in the United States held a professional certification or license. The prevalence of occupational licenses, common in fields such as healthcare, law, and education, has risen substantially over the past 50 years.”

The BLS states that licenses are credentials that demonstrate a level of skill or knowledge needed to perform a specific type of job. Both certifications and licenses are limited in time, and have to be renewed periodically.

Does Your Occupation Require a License?

Under state laws, people who work in certain fields are required to have a license. The purpose of professional licensing is to ensure that only ethical and competent individuals practice in certain types of occupations. Examples of the occupations that require licenses include doctors, attorneys, nurses, contractors, electricians, real estate agents, teachers, notaries, cosmetologists, counselors and therapists.

If you hold a professional license and you are obligated to pay child support, you may not be aware of it but skipping child support payments can put your license at risk.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “All 50 states have statutory or administrative provisions authorizing the suspension or revocation of various licenses for failure to pay child support. The licenses affected generally are driver's, occupational, professional (e.g., law), business and recreational (e.g., hunting and fishing).”

When Are Licenses Suspended?

Each state has established a threshold or amount a parent must owe in arrears before license suspensions take effect, and the criteria varies widely. In California for example, the delinquency threshold is 30 or more calendar days. In Utah, it’s 60 days, in Arizona it’s six or more months, and in Nevada, it’s $1,000 and not less than two months behind.

Are your professional licenses at risk? To explore your legal options, including a downward modification, contact Ford & Friedman today.