Failure to pay child support is every bit as serious as it sounds, so you don't want to find yourself in this situation. Instead, if you realize that you're unable to make payment, the best thing you can do is seek a modification.
Requesting a child support modification is easier said than done. Here's why: You need to convince the court that you are unable to make your current payment. While this may sound difficult, there are steps you can take to put yourself in position for success:
- Take immediate action. Don't wait around and hope that you catch up on back payments. If you realize that you can't afford your current payment, it's time to put the wheels in motion.
- Talk to the other parent about your change in circumstances. Depending on your relationship, this person may agree to a child support modification, which makes it much easier to obtain a final approval.
- Keep up to the best of your ability. You never know what will happen in the future, so you shouldn't stop paying your child support until you get the go ahead from the court. Even if you can't pay in full, do your best to keep up.
- Show your change in circumstances. You can't obtain a child support modification unless you can prove that you are unable to pay. For example, you may need to show that you are no longer employed or that you are facing a serious health concern.
- File your request. When the time comes, you'll need to file your modification request with the appropriate family law court.
Failure to pay child support can land you in hot water with the law, so you don't want to take this risk. If you find that you are unable to make payments as required, learn more about your legal rights and the steps you can take to move the process through the court system. This will eventually put you in a better position.