Preventing legal trouble when you cannot afford child support

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2022 | Family Law

Paying child support can take its toll when you run into financial difficulties. Job loss and other contributing factors can make meeting this obligation impossible.

Because you might have a valid excuse to not pay, you may consider stopping making payments altogether. However, this could, unfortunately, lead to serious legal repercussions. Knowing how to handle this situation can hopefully minimize your stress and help you maintain good standing with the courts.

Prioritize communication

Simply ignoring your duties is never a wise way to handle your situation. A great place to begin is to inform your ex of your inability to pay. Provide a brief explanation of your circumstances. You will also want to immediately notify the courts. You could consider requesting a modification. According to the Arizona Department of Economic Security, valid reasons to request a modification include the following:

  • You develop a life-altering disability
  • Incarceration
  • Something happens that reduces your income
  • Job loss

Stay involved

Even if you temporarily cannot provide financial support for your children, you can still stay heavily involved in their lives. Remaining an active part in their activities and taking your parenting role seriously can help you maintain a good reputation with those around you. Despite your inability to pay, you can speak with your children regularly, attend their extracurricular events and continue to show support in their lives. Even if you cannot make a full payment, you might consider paying as much as you can afford.

Non-payment without saying anything can backfire when you experience income withholding, liens on your property or you lose your driving privileges. Your proactive approach to addressing your financial difficulties can help you to stay ahead and avoid an outcome that might create an even bigger problem.