In the United States, somewhere around 41% of first marriages end in divorce, and often those divorces have children involved. More than 1 million children are involved in divorce proceedings every year, and it can be stressful for everyone involved.
If you’re going through a divorce and are having trouble understanding what is occurring, then hiring a family law attorney and/or divorce lawyer should be your priority. Divorce attorneys and family lawyers will have information about things like custody laws, child support laws, and visitation rights.
And while sometimes these things can be decided in the court room, it can often be handled informally between you and your spouse, with the attorneys giving advice. If you are expected to pay child support or are receiving it, then you need to know the basics of child support laws.
Paying Child Support
Parents who are awarded child custody are typically paid child support. This will have been determined by the lawyers and the court systems or by informal agreement. Remember, child support is for the benefit of your child, so even if you don’t get along with the other parent, keep that in mind.
Failing to obey the order to pay child support can lead to serious consequences and larger fees. So it’s important to know how much to pay and how to submit it. Make sure you discuss this with the child support lawyer.
Modifying Child Support
Life is unpredictable, so your financial situation may change. But if you find yourself unable to afford the child support amount you have been ordered to pay, you should seek a modification. The same worksheets used to determine the appropriate amount of support needed will be updated with your new information.
This process depends on state child support laws and can be obtained from the court or from the lawyer representing your case.
Consequences of Not Paying
If you try to avoid paying child support by receiving your wages in cash under the table or by seeking alternative forms of payment without disclosure, you can be hurt in the long run. Depending on where you live, your wages could be garnished, your property seized, and your driver’s license revoked. These are all penalties you could suffer.
It is best to negotiate with the other parent, the court, and your lawyers if you find yourself unable to make payments.
So if you find yourself in a situation where you are expected to pay child support, do your best to work within the system. You will be better off that way in the long term and the courts will not punish you for trying your best to be a good parent.