Child support is designed to provide children with the financial support that is necessary for their care. However, the child support system does have its flaws. In some cases, the system will punish parents who are unable to pay. If you’re a California resident and are involved in a child support case, keep these important family factors in mind when working toward a solution.
Society’s perception of child support
The media often focuses on “deadbeat” parents who try to shirk their duties and go months or years without paying child support. When it comes to family law regulations for settling this issue, it’s important to realize that every situation is different. Not every parent who doesn’t pay child support is a deadbeat. Some parents simply can’t afford to pay the set amount. Parents can ask for a payment reduction or deferment, depending on the circumstances.
What do to if you’re unable to pay
Family law indicates that if you’re not able to pay the amount in the child support order, you can have the original order re-examined by contact the Child Support office in the state where the child support order was issued. You’ll have to file a motion to request a change in your payment requirements due to your circumstances.
The original child support amount was based on your financial assets, financial obligations, and income at the time of the agreement. This means you may have to modify your child support order several times before your child becomes an adult.
Which circumstances qualify for modification
Either parent can request a child support modification citing changed circumstances. Situations that qualify can include:
- Additional costs of childcare as the child gets older
- Income changes
- Medical expenses
These circumstances can drastically affect a parent’s finances and the courts will consider this when reviewing the modification request. An experienced family law attorney may be able to help you understand your rights when it comes to child support so you can make the best choices for your children and your finances.