Modifying Child Support
If you have been ordered to pay child support by a court, it is essential that you follow that order. In the event you fail to make payments, you may face wage garnishment, liens, and in the most serious case, be left with serious criminal consequences.
However, there are some circumstances in life that may affect your ability to meet your legal obligations and continue to make payments. For example, you may be wondering what would happen if you lose your job or became injured or sick and were unable to work for a period of time. Will you still be required to pay child support? Can you modify your child support obligation? Is the court willing to let you default your payments? Let’s dive deeper into the answers to these questions.
Penalties for Defaulting Child Support Payments
Even if you lose your job and are no longer earning money, you are legally required to make your child support payments in full and on time. If you do not make your child support payments in full and on time, you can expect consequences. These consequences are as follows:
- Wage garnishment by your employer.
- Stopping of state or federal tax refunds.
- Driver’s license or passport revocation.
- Criminal charges that result in hefty fines or jail time.
Since these consequences are harsh, it is vital that you consult an experienced family law attorney right after you lose your job or have any other event that prohibits you from earning an income. The attorney may be able to help you modify your child support order.
When Can Child Support Order Be Modified?
There are certain criteria that must be met in order for a court to allow a child support modification. This criteria includes:
- A minimum of three years has passed since the child support order was established or modified last.
- A significant change in the non-custodial parent’s income has occurred;
- The initial child support order does not take the healthcare of a child into account.
- The non-custodial parent sends a request for a child support review to the State’s child support services agency.
If you have lost your job or have a legitimate reason why you cannot pay your child support obligation, you may request a child support order modification. However, you are still required to continue paying child support on time and in the full amount until a modification has been finalized. In the event your child support modification request is not granted, you will need to find a way to continue to make payments.
Contact an Experienced Child Support Lawyer
If you have lost your job and are unable to make child support payments, we encourage you to reach out to a law firm today. Family lawyers can guide you through the process of requesting a modification and ensure your rights are protected. Call a law office today for a consultation.