Child support is a topic that must be discussed if two people are divorcing and have minor children together. Most state laws have established guidelines that decide how much the payments should be. The amount is usually based on what each parent’s earnings are and the amount of time they spend with their children, along with other variables. In addition to a set amount, state law may permit add-on expenses for health care/insurance, child care, travel-related visitation, education, or other special needs for the child.
If you are a parent currently going through a divorce and need help regarding child support payments, it may be in your best interest to consult with an attorney, like a family law attorney in Fairfax, VA, for advice.
Modifications to Child Support
The parents have two choices, they can either find a middle ground regarding child support payments between themselves or attend a hearing where the judge decides for them. If the parents create an agreement, they will still have to submit it to the court for final approval before it can be legally enforced. There may be instances where modification in child support is needed by either parent. The court is more likely to approve a request if there has been a significant change in life circumstances, such as:
- One parent has had a drastic increase in their income level, in which the other parent can petition for an increase in child support payments.
- There are new expenses for the child-related to schooling or medical care
- One parent has had new children and may be able to request for a reduced amount in child support payments in order to meet the needs of all children
- There has been a substantial increase in one parent’s living costs
- One parent has had a drastic decrease in their income level, such as being let go from a job or being in a serious accident
What to Do if Your Spouse Has Stopped Paying
There are many reasons why a spouse may have stopped paying child support. If you have a decent relationship with your ex, you may want to ask them about why payments have halted, are late, or not in the full amount. Perhaps your ex has gone through financial difficulty and is honestly trying his or her best to keep up. But on the other hand, it is also possible that your ex isn’t paying out of spite, negligence, or carelessness. Unfortunately, this may directly impact your child’s life as you may not be able to afford to care for their needs alone without these payments.
If suddenly your ex has stopped sending child support payments, you can take action right away by:
- Speaking with an attorney for advice on how to handle the situation
- Filing a request to the court to hold your ex responsible for missed payments
- Gathering evidence in support of your claims, such as missed payments, checks that weren’t in the full amount, and due dates
Thank you to the experts at May Law, LLP, for their insight and expertise in family law.