MIAMI, Florida. According to NPR, falling behind on unpaid child support can have serious legal and financial consequences. You can lose your driver’s license, have your tax refund garnished by the government, and even have your wages garnished from your pay check directly. You could lose access to certain government benefits, have your passport revoked, and be denied the right to renew a professional license. The consequences are serious, so it is important to take paying your child support seriously. Individuals can even face jail time. While there are certainly cases where people with money simply refuse to pay child support, more commonly, the people who face child support debts are those who simply can’t afford to pay. If you believe you owe more in child support than you can afford to pay, it is important to understand that you have rights and options under the law.
Are you paying too much in child support? What can you do if you think your bill is too high?
NPR reports that states can take as much as 65% of your pre-tax income for child support. In fact, the poorest parents report that child support can take up more than 80 percent of their income. Unfortunately, when state child support orders take too much money from working parents, parent may quit jobs, go on welfare, or try to get paid under the table.
To make matters worse, if a parent is put in jail due to unpaid child support, ex-partners might bail the person out of jail, meaning that the whole family’s financial burden increases.
So, what can you do if you think your child support payment is too high, or if you believe you can’t afford the payments required from your child support order? According to The Spruce, you may need to file for a modification of child support with your local Child Support Enforcement Office. A parent’s financial situation can change or the initial information used to determine the child support amount could incorrect. If you can’t afford to pay, your first step should be contacting the Child Support Enforcement Office.
Changes in income, unemployment, medical expenses, or new expenses and costs all can change your child support amount. This includes the birth of another child, a sudden illness, or the loss of a job. Unfortunately, some parents aren’t aware that they can change their child support amounts through legal means. Some fall behind, racking up debt, and facing the worst consequences of unpaid child support. This hurts not only the parent who owes the support, but could potentially impact the whole family.
Sandy B. Becher, P.A. is a divorce lawyer in Miami, Florida who can help you navigate the child support process. Whether you have questions about how much you should be paying or are owed unpaid child support and want to understand your options, we are here for you. Reach out to our firm today, or visit us at https://sandybecher.com/ to learn more about your rights.