Debts for child support and alimony are the only ones that never go away. They cannot be discharged in bankruptcy and without a court appearance, it is almost impossible to modify them. If due to current circumstances, you believe that the amount you pay for child support should be modified, you can try to negotiate with the other parent of your children. If he or she agrees to the adjustment, put it in writing, and get court approval.
If the negotiation is unsuccessful, you should apply for the adjustment in court. You will have the opportunity to present your case and you must document the reasons for the modification. This can be a complicated process and you may need the services of an attorney or legal assistant. Until the court determines that the modification is appropriate, you are responsible for the full amount of the imposed monthly fee. The modification, if granted, is not retroactive. There are few circumstances under which a judge could authorize a change in child support arrears.
If you had suffered a voluntary or involuntary reduction in income, but in the fundamental interest of the child, you may qualify for the modification. For example, if you reduce your working hours to complete your education and thus increase your ability to improve your income, you could temporarily reduce your child support arrears.
Custodial Parent Income
You could change the fees you pay if the custodial parent receives a significant increase in income. A career change could also affect the other parent’s income enough to reduce the fee you pay.
If your expenses have increased dramatically, you may qualify for the amount of support you pay to change. However, it must be reasonable. It is possible that the expenses associated with a newborn child are taken into account, while those of a new boat does not.
If the child’s expenses currently are lower than before, the fees you pay may be reduced. For example, this happens if your children now attend a public school and previously attended a private school. Generally, however, as he grows, the child’s needs do not decrease but increase.
The more time the child spends with you and because of that, the more daily expenses you pay will allow your child support arrears to be reconsidered. If the original agreement says that the child will only spend the weekends with you, but is actually with you for half the month, a modification may be authorized.
If you reduce or eliminate fees without court approval, the late payment could add up quickly. If your paycheck is not currently withheld, your automatic withholding may be ordered. The courts do not like having child support arrears omitted and they will use very aggressive collection techniques such as wage garnishing, interception of your tax refund, property lien, credit bureau reporting, contempt of court, public humiliation, and in some extreme cases, criminal prosecution.
Contact An Attorney
It can get really difficult for you if you don’t have a lawyer on your side. If your child support arrears have reached the point where you are experiencing the court’s aggressive collection tactics, locate a trusted attorney to get the help and support you need.