Child Support Options

When parents pay child support, these payments may sometimes take up a significant portion of their monthly income. If their financial circumstances change, many parents may realize they cannot afford their child support payments. When parents find themselves in this situation, it is important for them to know what to do. 

A person’s financial circumstances may change for many reasons. According to Very Well Family, parents may be unable to afford child support if they lose their jobs or have unexpected medical expenses. They may also experience a wage decrease. Sometimes it costs more to raise kids as they get older, and parents may realize they cannot afford these extra expenses. 

What should parents do? 

Many people may decide to explain their circumstances to their ex-spouse and work out a new child support arrangement. However, oral agreements are not always legally binding. Parents should typically ask their local court for a child support modification. In this situation, the court usually reviews the current child support order and a parent’s income to find a more workable solution. 

Can parents stop paying child support? 

When people cannot afford child support, they may decide to stop making these payments. FindLaw says that parents may experience consequences if they stop paying child support. Court officials may garnish a parent’s wages or keep a parent’s tax refund. If people have a business or an occupational license, the court might also suspend this license. Additionally, parents are in arrears when they stop paying their child support. Sometimes parents may request a child support modification after they miss several payments. However, the modification usually does not apply to these missed payments. This means parents generally still have to pay the full amount of the arrearage.