Even the most dedicated and conscientious parents can run into trouble paying child support. Unemployment, major injury or illness and other dramatic changes in circumstance can make it difficult to pay on time. If you’re unable to pay child support at this time, call a child support lawyer as soon as possible. Failing to pay can land you in some hot water, but an attorney can help you get a court-ordered modification.
Here’s how a lawyer can help your case.
Why do I have to pay child support?
Raising a child is expensive, as you undoubtedly know. The court takes a parent’s duty to provide for their child very seriously. Both parents need to share expenses. If parents share 50/50 custody, they may not have to pay support payments—but if one parent is taking on the bulk of the childrearing responsibility, the other parent will need to help pay for the associated costs.
What happens if you fail to pay?
Failing to pay child support comes with very serious consequences. Child support is one of the few debts that can’t be discharged in bankruptcy—that’s how seriously the court takes your obligation.
If you’re in arrears (behind on your support payments), you are subject to wage garnishment, revocation of professional and driver’s licenses and even jail time. In short, if something happens and you can no longer pay child support, it’s important that you talk to a child support attorney right away. Otherwise, you could find yourself on the wrong end of one of these punishments, which will make it even harder to pay your child support obligations.
How can a child support attorney help my case?
Your attorney will help you in two broad areas. First, if you’ve already had a support hearing, they’ll file a request for child support modification. This alerts the court that your financial situation has changed and the amount needs to be recalculated.
If you haven’t been through a child support and custody hearing yet, your attorney will prepare the paperwork for that event. Both child support and modification hearings will require documentation of your income, especially if your situation has recently changed. Your child support attorney will let you know which documents you need to get for the hearing.
At the hearing, your lawyer will present your case. You may be called upon to answer questions. Your child’s other parent may have to present their own financial information and answer questions as well. At its conclusion, the court will calculate what they deem to be a fair amount of support based on your income and custody agreement.
If that amount is still too high, your attorney can petition the court to deviate from the state child support schedule. With any luck, your judge will take your changed circumstances into consideration and reduce the support amount.
When you need to hire a child support lawyer, get in touch with The Law Office of Rob Biggers today. We can help advocate for fair support amounts.
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Categorised in: Divorce