How to deal with difficult child support payments

Posted by Lauren S. CohenMay 16, 20190 Comments

Some divorced parents in New York complain about child support amounts set by courts. These court-ordered monetary obligations could strain a payor's budget, but legal options exist for those struggling to stay current on their child support payments. Ignoring problems like job loss or reduction in income sends noncustodial parents down the unpleasant path of child support enforcement.

Upon losing a job or suffering a similar financial setback, a payor should approach the family court as soon as possible. Petitioning the court to modify a child support order before a custodial parent alerts the state's child support enforcement agency about unpaid child support could reduce the financial consequences. When presented with documentation about income loss, a court might approve a request to lower the payments. This would reduce monetary burdens on the noncustodial parent and potentially prevent the negative consequences of letting support go unpaid for months or years.

A parent could also strive to protect their financial future and meet their duty to provide for their children when the relationship dissolves. Agreeing to unfavorable terms at the time of divorce due to anger might create resentment toward the court or former spouse. When a marriage ends, parents should try to negotiate equitable divorce settlements and present information about their income during the calculation of child support.

The financial decisions made at the time of a divorce could influence a person's life for years to come. However, an attorney could improve a person's ability to resist emotional decisions and gain clarity about legal obligations for paying child support or spousal support and maintenance. Legal counsel might stand up for a client's rights to secure a settlement that represents a fair outcome. With legal representation, a person might negotiate terms that limit the duration of spousal support.