The goal of child support arrangements is to help make sure both parents contribute to the financial needs of their children once they are no longer together. However, if you suddenly have a difficult time making your child support payments, you need to consider all your options, including the following:
Do Not Miss Your Payment
The first thing to do is not miss your payments if at all possible. Missing a payment is going to make it difficult for your former spouse to financially help your children. Plus, you can face major legal problems if you miss your child support payments regularly. If you know you will have a hard time making your payments due to a job loss or other financial impact, try to mitigate the missed payment as much as possible until you go back to court. In the meantime, try to sell something or find some way to make your payment so you do not end up in arrears.
Talk to Your Former Spouse
If you know you are going to have difficulty making your payments, you need to talk to your former spouse right away so he or she is aware of the issue. You are not legally required to inform your former spouse of your inability to pay, but it could make the situation a little better. Speak honestly about your financial problems and let him or her know you will have problems making a payment. Also, let your former spouse know you are seeking a change through the court system. If you do not communicate, he or she could take you to court for non-payment, which can harm you in many ways.
Go to Court for a Modification
To legally change your child support amount to something you can more easily afford, you need to go to court and request a child support modification. You will have to provide proof through pay stubs, bank records, records from your doctor or employer, or any other entity who can show you are not currently making the same amount of money you did when you entered your child support agreement.
If the judge approves your modification, you will get a payment plan based on your current income. You need to send some amount of money to your children. A modification does not get you out of your child support arrangement. Also, a modification can either be temporary or permanent. You have to tell your attorney when your financial situation improves so you can pay your owed child support.
Talk to your divorce lawyer for more assistance or information.