Falling behind on child support can be a serious problem. It can lead to court costs, driver's license suspension and jail time.
In some cases, it may be possible to avoid falling behind on child support payments by seeking a timely modification from the court.
When can child support payments be reduced?
You can request a review of your child support payments if your income decreases significantly for reasons you cannot control. Here are a few examples:
- Involuntary Job loss
- Involuntary job change to a lower paying position
- A serious illness
- You have additional children you have to support
If you need to reduce child support, it's important to get a court order. Even if your ex agrees to accept less child support, that agreement would not be enforceable unless it is approved by a judge. Your ex could demand that you pay the full amount of child support, including arrearages, at any time. Arrearages cannot be discharged, even in bankruptcy.
It's important to seek legal advice about when support can be modified, especially if your ex may contest the reduction.
When can child support payments be increased?
Parents who receive child support can request a review of those payments if the payer's income increases significantly. Here are some examples:
- The payer receives a promotion
- The payer receives a pay raise
Child support orders can be reviewed every two years.