Spokane residents who have been ordered to pay child support monthly sometimes feel the stress of missing a payment. That stress triples when a change in circumstances occurs where they can no longer support their child. This may include the loss of a job or something similar. Missed child support payments can negatively affect your child, but also can mean legal repercussions for you.
Recently, former NBA star Allen Iverson is in hot water over missed child support payments and his general irresponsibility as a father. A judgment was recently issued in Iverson's divorce case which ordered Iverson to pay $8,000 a month for the five children that Iverson has with ex-wife Tawanna Iverson. Tawanna has filed documents with the court claiming Iverson has failed to make any payments and owes $40,000. Tawanna's legal documents go so far as to suggest a jail sentence be imposed on her ex-husband. In total, Iverson's NBA career earned him over $154 million, however he claims he has lost most of it.
Sometimes, a change in circumstances occurs that makes it impossible to continue to pay child support in the amount originally determined by the court. Legally speaking, the process to amend or change child support payments is called child support modification. Typically, you will go before a judge and request a modification due to a change in circumstances. Generally, family law will not allow for modification of child support unless a parent can show the change in circumstances greatly necessitates the modification of child support. The public policy supporting this notion is to make sure a child's basic needs are met and stable. However, if there is a reasonable change in circumstances, a modification can be made, either temporarily or permanently.
If you are having trouble making child support payments because of a change in circumstances, a modification may bring much needed relief, and you will still be able to fulfill your legal duty of the support order. Unlike the Iverson case above, it is important to make child support payments, or if you are unable to do so, seek a modification. An attorney can help evaluate your case, explain the likelihood of success of your modification and help present the legal options available to you.
Source: Larry Brown Sports, "Allen Iverson reportedly owes ex-wife $40,000 in unpaid child support," Larry Brown, June 10, 2013