What happens if a parent falls behind on child support payments?

When a person does not make child support payments on time, the overdue payments are called "arrearages," and the person is "in arrears" on payments. Judges have become very strict about enforcing child support orders and collecting arrearages. While the person in arrears can ask a judge for a downward modification of future payments, the judge will usually insist that the arrearage be paid in full, either immediately or in installments.