It can happily very quickly. After years of making your child support payments on time and in full, circumstances can arise that put you in financial trouble and risk keeping up with current payments.
Child support payments should be taken extremely seriously, and you can face serious consequences by missing payments. Just because you are not able to pay your full amount does not mean you should not pay anything. It can be a stressful time to want to maintain your payment requirement but unable to do so. You may fear that you will immediately be labeled a deadbeat parent, however, there are ways to help yourself in this situation.
Address the problem now – The payments you are not making will not be forgiven and will need to be paid at some point. The moment you know your situation may cause a disruption in payment, you should take immediate action to address the problem.
Speak with your ex – It may not be easy to do, but it is more important to address the situation than to let it get worse. You can explain the burden of making the payments and that you need to make a change. An oral agreement is not legally binding however, but you can set the wheels in motion to work out a payment modification.
Speak with the child enforcement agency – This agency can assist you in your time of financial struggle. They can discuss your situation with you and determine if your request for modification is legitimate. They can also provide you with the paperwork needed to make a modification request.
Document your financial changes – Whatever is causing you the financial trouble, you should document everything. Whether it be job loss or medical expenses, keep every bill, pay stub and document that shows you are in a different financial situation than before.
Make child support a priority – If your child support payment is not on the top of your list of payments you need to make, it should be. If you need to reduce your expenses or even find a new place to live, these are all sacrifices you may need to make to ensure you are submitting your support payment in full.
A change in your financial situation can be disheartening and understandably cause stress and frustration. But staying proactive may keep you from falling deeper into debt and facing unfortunate consequences. If you are considering a child support modification, you may want to speak to an attorney who can review your situation and provide valuable guidance.