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The child support system is designed to provide financial support for children to help them live happy and fulfilling lives. However, if you can’t afford the child support payments that the court has ordered you to pay, you may find yourself in a tough situation. To make things a little easier on yourself, take action now. Here are some tips for dealing with this type of situation.
Talk to Your Ex
The idea of talking to your ex about child support payments can be daunting, especially if the two of you aren’t on good terms. However, if you calmly explain your situation to him or her as soon as possible, he or she may be more understanding. Tell him or her payments are a great burden to your changes in circumstances, whether it’s a job loss or injury, and that you can’t afford the full amount right now.
Keep in mind, though, that no oral agreement with your ex is legally binding. Even if he or she agrees to let you pay less child support that was ordered, he or she could always change his or her mind and declare that you are in contempt of the court. Modifications to child support have to be approved by a judge.
Contact the Child Support Enforcement Agency
The next thing you have to do is get a hold of the child support enforcement agency in your state. They will require you to fill out several documents explaining how your new circumstances have made it difficult to meet your child support obligations. Be honest in your answers at offer as many details as possible. If you have a legitimate need to have your payments lowered, such as a job loss, there’s a good chance that you will receive a new payment plan. After all, the state would rather you pay a portion of your child support than none at all.
Cut Down Your Expenses
If the state won’t budge on your child support payments, try to reduce your expenses as much as you can. Make a list of all your monthly expenses and then see what you can realistically cut out. For example, you may be able to cancel your cable or stop going out to eat as much and eat at home instead. Reducing your expenses may be difficult at first, but it will be worth it in the end.
If you’re having difficulty paying child support, consult with an experienced child support lawyer in Rockville, MD. He or she can assess your case and advise you the best way to proceed.
Thanks to Daniel J. Wright for their insight into family law and child support payments you can’t afford.