What To Do If You Cannot Afford to Make Your Child Support Payments
Before ordering child support payments, a California judge looks over the parents’ incomes and expenses. They attempt to determine a fair and equitable contribution intended to enable parents to provide for their child financially. In some cases, for a variety of reasons, a parent may not be able to afford to pay their court-ordered child support. If your expenses increase or your income decreases, making it difficult or impossible for you to make your child support payments, there may be something you can do to make things easier.
1. Discuss the Situation with Your Ex: While no oral agreement will be legally binding, it is still a good idea to start with a discussion with your ex. Being open with your ex can decrease the tension when you are not able to pay as usual. It will also give them a little warning of the loss of child support income as it could leave them without the necessary funds to pay bills. If your ex agrees to allow you to skip some child support payments or pay less than the court-ordered amount, they could decide at a later date to declare you in contempt of court. Avoid this problem by getting any child support modifications to a standing child support order approved by a judge.
2. Reduce Expenses: If possible, reduce your discretionary expenses to free up more funds for child support payments. Remember that you are attempting to make a child support payment that is used to support your child and provide them with the necessities like food, clothing, housing, etc.
3. Talk to an Experienced Attorney: You may feel that you cannot afford an attorney since you already find yourself unable to pay your full child support payments, but avoid significant legal trouble and save money in the long run by working with an experienced attorney to attempt to obtain a child support modification.
If you are unable to pay your full child support payments as ordered by the court, please get in touch with an experienced California divorce attorney at The Maggio Law Firm as soon as possible to avoid legal consequences. We can assist you in seeking a child support modification based on your changed circumstances.
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