When you divorce your partner, you have to pay child support to the custodial parent. When you have a regular income, that is not an issue, but when things start getting out of place, such as you are fired, or your business goes down, you don’t have any other way other than to stop paying child maintenance.
If you are in such a situation, you must be wondering what you should do, right? Well, there are a number of things you can do. Some of these things include:
Talk with the receiving parent
If you are still on good talking terms with your ex-spouse, you should reach out to them and explain your current situation. If you have been paying child support without any problem, there is no reason they won’t understand you and lower the amount until your income returns to normal.
If you aren’t on talking terms, you can ask your divorce lawyers to talk with your ex-spouse. Again, if you have been religious with your payments, there is no reason they won’t understand your current situation.
Go to court
Talking with the receiving parent is the easiest and fastest way to solve the issue, but if you have tried talking to the parent and they aren’t hearing your situation, work with your attorney and file an amendment.
Remember that this will take time, and you need to present evidence that your financial situation has changed and you can’t afford the child support payments. This can be a termination letter or your business bank records.
Should you just stop making the payments?
When some people are going through a rough patch, they just stop making payments. While this might give you some relief as you don’t need to explain it to anyone, it often ends up backfiring to your face as, in most cases, your ex-spouse goes to court, and the court takes the necessary legal actions against you. Some of these actions include:
Losing your driver’s license: All states have legislation to suspend your driver’s license when you fail to pay the agreed child support amount. Some states even have legislations that extend to professional and occupational licenses such as hunting and fishing.
To avoid losing your license, talk to your spouse or head to court and explain your situation. Don’t stop making the payments and sit back.
Your pay can be withheld: If you are still working, the court can order your payments to be withheld by your employer and used to pay for the child support. Sometimes the amount can be the full ordered amount or up to 65% of the amount. It’s up to the court to decide on this.
Again, move to court fast before they make this order.
Your credit score can take a nosedive: Child support enforcement agencies can provide your information to the credit bureaus, which, as you can guess, lowers your credit score. This means you become unattractive to lending agencies, which can take a toll on your business as you can’t borrow the amount you want.
You can be charged with a felony: Did you know that you can be charged as a felon when you fail to pay for child support? You can be fined or even face up to two years in prison when you are found guilty.
When your financial situation changes, you shouldn’t just stop making the payments, as doing so comes with plenty of repercussions. Instead, you should get in touch with your ex-spouse and explain to them the current situation. If this doesn’t work, work with your family lawyers Fairfax VA and file an amendment petition in court.