What Happens if I Cannot Pay My Child Support?

As part of the divorce order, the judge will determine the amount of child support the parent must pay. Once the order is in effect, it is legally binding. Everyone has times in their lives during which they suffer setbacks and problems. If you encounter a situation in which you get behind on your child support or alimony payments, you may wonder what will happen and whether there is anything you can do. If you are under court order to make payments, you must do so or you will face penalties.

What is a Family Contempt Case?

If you fail to pay court-ordered child support or alimony, you are in contempt of family court. Contempt simply means that you have failed to follow a court order. You may be charged with contempt if you get behind on payments or fail to pay. You may also be in contempt if you fail to obey the child time-sharing order. If you are a parent who has not received the proper child support, you cannot respond by withholding visitation or you will also be in contempt of a court order.

If you are in contempt you could face severe penalties that might include fines and even jail time. When you have contempt charges it can hurt your changes when it comes to reevaluating child time-sharing arrangements because it shows a history of lack of responsibility. If you are facing contempt charges, it is best to seek legal help as soon as possible. There are some things you can do to try to resolve the problem.

Can I Get a Modification to Child Support?

If your financial situation has changed and you are no longer able to make full child support payments, you may be able to request a modification. It is always best to try to get the payments changed rather than simply fail to make them. Any changes to the court-ordered child support must be made by the family court. You may request a hearing to review child support if you had a significant change in your finances, the judge may reduce your payments.

In order to get a reduction in child support payments you must prove that you either lost your job or took a major pay cut that makes it financially difficult to make payments. In a hearing, the judge will review the details of your situation and make a determination. You must still pay at least the minimum child support. Remember that the judge may not reduce your payments and will always act in the best interest of the child. Your attorney will help fight for your rights and assist you in providing the proof that you need to show your financial capabilities.

Whether you need to make changes to your child support or you are facing contempt charges, we can help. Our legal team will assist you with resolving your case to keep you from serious penalties. Contact Henderson Legal Group today for a free case consultation.


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