Entertainment Love and Romance Child Support and Right to Counsel What to Do if an Attorney is Not Provided in a Contempt Hearing Share PINTEREST Email Print ericsphotography/Getty Images Love and Romance Divorce Relationships Sexuality Teens LGBTQ Friendship By Debrina Washington Family law attorney and writer University of Pittsburgh School of Law Skidmore College Debrina L. Washington is a New York-based family law attorney and writer, who runs her own virtual practice to assist single parents with legal issues. our editorial process Debrina Washington Updated February 18, 2017 Although it is undisputed that parents deserve the right to counsel during a child custody hearing, the question arises as to whether parents should have the right to counsel during a child support hearing. Let's explore some more information about child support and the right to counsel during a child support hearing: Consequences of Child Support Nonpayment Generally, parents are not entitled to counsel during a child support hearing as the courts have determined that in order for parents to have a right to counsel, a parent's freedom must be on the line. However, let's discuss the consequences to parents who do not pay child support. A parent held in contempt for child support nonpayment may be subject to: Wage garnishmentDriver's license suspensionInability to obtain passportTax refund interceptionPrison sentence Child Support Attorney Questions Because an attorney for child support contempt hearings is not a guaranteed right, if a parent decides to obtain an attorney for a child support contempt hearing, he or she should ask the attorney the following questions: What's the possibility of avoiding a prison term?How will the attorney assist with the negotiation or modification of child support?Will the attorney educate the parent about the basics of child support and a parent's obligation?Will the attorney educate the parent about the dangers of nonpayment?Is the attorney affordable?What's the attorney's experience with child support cases? How to Find an Affordable Child Support Attorney A parent who cannot afford an attorney who specializes in child support matters should seek an affordable attorney by: Asking for Referrals - Ask someone who has had a positive experience with a child support attorney for advice.Requesting Assistance from the State Bar Association - Your state bar association will maintain a list of attorneys specializing in child support matters.Conducting Internet Research - Research affordable child support attorneys in your state Courts hold that there is no automatic right to counsel in child support hearings. However, it may still be a good idea for a parent to seek the assistance of counsel. For more information regarding child support, visit the child support guidelines of your state or you may speak with a qualified attorney in your jurisdiction.