There are many fathers out there paying child support for their children. This is important for the welfare of your children. Sometimes child support payments can become overwhelming though. As much as you want to support your child the financial burden can be a lot to deal with.
If you lose your job or had a high amount set by the court, it can be hard to keep up. So, what can you do about the payments? Let’s look at resources and see what help for fathers paying child support is available.
Help for Fathers Paying Child Support
It can seem overwhelming and stressful when you are behind on child support payments. There are a lot of consequences if you don’t make your payments. There are programs available though. There are several options available to you if you find yourself in over your head.
If you have had a change in circumstances since your child support hearing you may be able to get it modified. A modification will lower your payments and may even reduce some of the back payments you have built up.
The first step is to contact either a lawyer or the state child support enforcement agency. Give them the facts, be completely honest. Why you got behind, why you can’t make your payments, all the information. They can help you go back to court to reduce payments.
Child support enforcement can help you reduce back child support payments. They can also help you develop a payment plan that is reasonable based on your current income. This payment is set up to keep you caught up on current payments and pay part of back payments.
If you would rather go back to court, you can hire a lawyer. You may already have one from your divorce. You will need to be able to prove to the court that your circumstances are different. Have proof to take with you to court to show why you need a modification.
Talk to Your Ex-Spouse
A divorce doesn’t mean there are hard feelings or a lack of communication. Since you have a child you will be co-parenting with your ex-spouse. Seeking out a negotiation with your ex-spouse can help you reduce the number of your payments. If you are paying child support voluntarily without a court order this could be a good option.
Appeal to their sympathy for your situation. Explain why you cannot make the payments and be upfront. If you have a significant reason to change payments or miss a payment they might understand.
It is important to remember this is only an option if you are not court-ordered to pay child support. If you have a court order you need to go through the court to miss or change a payment. An agreement with an ex-spouse is not valid to the courts. You will still be responsible in the eyes of the court regardless of any verbal agreements.
If you are unable to work out an agreement or get a modification, then a change in living might be better. Review your expenses and find ways to limit spending.
Create a detailed and outlined budget that will make payments a priority. This might mean limiting spending on things that are not a necessity. Remember that paying child support is important and a necessity.
If income doesn’t cover your support costs, then you might have to consider a different job. Either getting a higher paying job or a second job. The consequences for not paying your payments can be significant so it must be a priority.
Tips on Paying Child Support
Paying child support payments can be hard sometimes. While most parents want to provide support for their children, figuring out a way to make it work is vital. There are some tips to help you be successful in making your payments.
Be on Time
Try to always make your payments on time. If you get behind, then it will make the next payment even more difficult. Getting behind can carry significant consequences, even jail time. One of the worst feelings for kids is missing a loved one who’s in jail, so be a responsible parent and don’t fall behind on your payments. Do not let yourself get overwhelmed with back child support payments.
If you do find yourself behind seek out the help of child support enforcement agencies. They can help you create a payment plan to get caught up on your payments.
It might be tempting to hand over a cash payment to your ex-spouse, but this is a mistake. Make your payments in a documented format like a check or money order. That way if there are any discrepancies you have proof of payments.
Keep copies of court orders and documents. If you ever need proof of what your court order says you will have it on hand. It is also a good idea to keep copies of your income and expenses handy in case you need a modification.
Get an Attorney
Getting an attorney can help you if you have any problems with your child support payments. They can help you negotiate a fair child support payment during the divorce. They can also provide help for fathers paying child support. They can help you get a modification or reduce back payments.
If you get behind, you may have to go back to court and having a lawyer will be helpful. Remember that child support is important to the entire family and should be a high priority.
Need more help with budgeting and saving for your child’s future? Check out our blogs for more information on handling the many expenses that come with being a parent.