When it comes to the matter of children in a divorce, custody will almost certainly be at the top of everyone's list. This makes sense, but there's another serious matter than involves a child of divorce that may not be important emotionally, but it is very important from a legal standpoint -- and, really, from a life standpoint.
What we are talking about is child support, and the payments entailed that could change the lives of everyone involved. The child is directly impacted by these payments, because they go towards enabling him or her to do all the things he or she loves and enjoy as normal a life as possible.
For the spouses, child support is just as crucial. The receiving spouse will likely rely on the payments coming in on time so that he or she can pay for the things that they need. Getting those payments on time is a big deal, and if they aren't consistently coming in on time, the receiving spouse could take legal action.
This is where the consequences come in for the paying spouse. It may be financially straining and just stressful in general to have this new debt that you have to pay every month -- but skipping out on it is not something you want to do. It can lead to jail time, and having that on your record could change your life forever. You could struggle to hold a job in the wake of that charge, let alone suffer even more financial pain and misery.
Source: New York Times, "Skip Child Support. Go to Jail. Lose Job. Repeat.," Frances Robles and Shaila Dewan, April 19, 2015