The purpose of child support is to help the custodial parent—that is, the parent who has more parenting time—pay the costs associated with raising the child. Although child support is most often paid by the father to the mother, both men and women can be recipients and payers of child support. Support payments can be significant, especially when there is more than one child in the family. Some divorced parents struggle to make child support payments on time and in full. If you are a parent who is currently struggling to pay your court-ordered child support, or if you are a parent considering divorce, you should know that there are options for those struggling to finance their child support payments.
Do Not Just Stop Paying
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 7 million custodial parents are owed child support at any given time. However, only about 3 million of those parents actually receive the full amount they expect. Sometimes deadbeat parents attempt to skip support payments because they simply do not want to pay, but more often, noncustodial parents simply do not have the funds necessary. If you are having trouble making ends meet and paying your child support, the worst thing you can do is to just stop paying. Never cease payments without letting the courts know. Parents who do not pay their court-ordered child support are at risk of having their wages garnished, tax refund withheld, occupational license, business license, or driver’s license revoked, property seized, and ability to get a passport revoked. In extreme cases, a parent who continually refuses to pay child support can even go to jail.
Seek a Child Support Modification
Instead of paying nothing, the first thing you should do when you realize you cannot make your child support payment(s) is contact the Office of Child Support Enforcement that issued the existing order. There you can ask for child support modification. You will have to prove to the court that you experienced a change in circumstances that led to you being unable to pay. Things like losing your job or becoming disabled are sufficient reasons to petition the court for a child support modification. Also, if your child starts living with you instead of the original custodial parent, you may be relieved of some or all of your child support obligation.
DuPage County Child Support Lawyers
If you have further questions regarding child support modification or nonpayment, please contact the Andrew Cores Family Law Group for assistance. Contact an experienced Wheaton family law attorney today by calling 630-871-1002 and set up a free initial consultation.