Child support can be a sore subject for some people. While child support is meant to be used sheltering, feeding, educating, clothing, and otherwise providing for a child, some people disagree with the idea of paying it. In other cases, they simply do not have the funds to do so.
Not paying child support is serious, but many people find themselves in difficult circumstances. This is what you need to know.
Child Support Arrears
Arrears refer to being behind on a payment. Child support arrears are the result of a parent not making their court-ordered payment to the other parent. Whether you did not pay child support because you didn't have the money or because you are in the middle of a conflict with the other parent, a family or divorce attorney should be a critical feature of your plan.
Consequences for Lack of Payment
If you fail to pay child support, you can find yourself facing many consequences. Depending on the circumstances, the state could decide to seek compensation for the payments you owe. In other cases, the court may determine that you owe back child support, typically with interest. This can come with other financial penalties.
In some cases, people are arrested on criminal charges for failure to pay child support. This can be detrimental to your current lifestyle, especially because it could end in the loss of your job.
Additionally, the government can withhold wages, garnish your unemployment, reduce your disability benefits, and even suspend your passport or driver's license if you do not make court-ordered payments.
Make Child Support Payments
Divorce attorneys and other legal professionals typically advise their clients to continue sticking with the court orders while they pursue other legal options. If you are struggling to make your payments, you should speak with your attorney as soon as possible to ensure you don't end up with criminal charges. Sometimes your child's other parent may also be receptive to making changes to your order.
Ultimately, you might opt to modify your court order for child support. Modifying your order must come with some change in circumstances, like change in income or incarceration.
Talk to a Divorce Attorney
Are you struggling to make child support payments after your marriage has ended? Do you think you may qualify for a reduction in your child support payments? Now is the time to act. Call a divorce lawyer today to learn more about your legal options.