Paying child support is a serious obligation, as it contributes to the welfare of your children and is considered an important matter under the law. If you don't meet your child support obligations, you can be subject to strict debt collection measures such as wage garnishment and loss of your federal income tax refunds; you could also get hit with penalties, including loss of your driver's license.
But what happens if you're obligated with paying child support and find yourself facing financial difficulties?
In general, the courts are going to prioritize the welfare of your children over your financial struggles. Even if you're facing financial difficulties, they want to ensure that your children will receive support from you. The following are some points to think about:
- If you're filing for bankruptcy, keep in mind the child support isn't a dischargeable debt.
- If you're unemployed, you're still expected to do everything you can to pay child support. For instance, if you're receiving unemployment benefits, a portion of the money will go towards child support.
- Financial struggles, such as the loss of your job or home, don't automatically exempt you from child support payments. In order to pay less in child support, you'll need to get your case reviewed again in court. After a review of your case, there may be modifications made to your child support payment obligations. In court, you'll need to show how you're currently unable to pay child support (whether entirely or in part), and also demonstrate that you're making all possible efforts to find a new job. The courts will make their decisions on an individual basis, and look at your work history and other personal factors to determine what adjustments, if any, should be made.
If you're struggling to fulfill your child support obligations, consult with an experienced attorney about your options. When you contact us, we'll go over solutions to your situation that take into account your children's welfare and your own well-being in a difficult time.