What If I Can’t Afford to Pay My Child Support?
A parent’s child support obligation is set based on the state-required Child Support Calculator. Child support payments are established by the court and take into account several factors. However, there may come a time when a paying parent may not be able to meet their court-ordered obligation for child support payments. So what happens if you can no longer afford your child support payments?
Before we get into what you can do to alter the amount of child support that you are responsible for, we want to take a moment to stress the importance of being proactive. While the court can help those who file a motion to have their child support agreement changed, there are very serious consequences for those who think they can just stop paying. This includes being held in contempt or even criminal prosecution.
If you find yourself in this situation, the first step is to file a motion with the court to have your child support modified. In order for any modification to be made, you’ll have to provide sufficient evidence that the change in income you are experiencing is substantial and on a continuing basis, and was involuntary. In some cases, this may require showing proof of meaningful attempts to obtain gainful employment or supplemental income in order to meet your existing child support threshold.
One thing we highly recommend is making an effort to pay whatever you can in the interim until your child support has been modified. Even if it is less than you owe, this can both help you avoid potential legal consequences while also serving as a sign of good faith to your former spouse and the court. Even paying what might seem like an insignificant amount is still considerably better in the long run than paying nothing.
We know legal matters pertaining to child support can be difficult to navigate. That’s why the experts here at Oxendine Law are happy to help. We make sure to take the time during meetings with our clients to ensure they are fully informed and comfortable with everything happening with their legal proceedings. For more information, contact Oxendine Law at (770) 497-8688 today to schedule a meeting in-person, over the phone, or by video conference. And follow along with us on Facebook and Instagram for additional family law tips, news, and more helpful information.