What happens when you reach a point when you are no longer able to meet the requirements of your child support agreement? Things continue to change long after a divorce is final, and you may find that these changes affected your financial capabilities. If you cannot pay, you have options available to you, including the possibility of modifying your existing child support order.
When you find yourself in a position where you are unable to pay some or all of your child support amount, you will want to take certain steps to ensure that you communicate with the other parent and reduce your chances of additional complications. It's smart to speak up about your need to modify your support amount rather than simply stop paying and hope for the best.
What to do next
What's next for you if you cannot make your child support payments? One of the most prudent first steps for you is to act quickly to resolve the situation. When a person fails to pay child support, he or she will still owe that money, accumulating a significant amount of unpaid child support over time. After that, the following steps may be useful to you:
- Examine your circumstances and seek counsel regarding your circumstances, along with whether they are valid grounds for a modification.
- Speak with the other parent about your current concerns and determine if you can come to a reasonable agreement regarding modified child support payments.
- If you are able to do so, keep paying however much of your required child support amount are you are able to do under your current circumstances.
- Take legal steps to seek a formal modification of your child support agreement from the court.
It can help your situation tremendously to reach a verbal agreement with the other parent regarding an adjustment to your support amounts. However, it is always smart to pursue a formal modification with a Florida court to protect your interests in the event a dispute arises in the future.
Your role as a parent
Your inability to make child support payments has no bearing on your right to have access to your children. You may want to seek a complete evaluation of your case to better understand how you can change your support agreement while still protecting your parental rights. Speaking with an experienced family law attorney can help you understand your options.