Child support and custody is a serious topic that can be complicated and exhausting for both the parties involved in it. Things can get rough when you can't afford child support and do not want to be separated from your child. If you find yourself in such a crisis, here is what you need to know.
How long does the child support last?
The law requires you to make child support payments until the following conditions occur:
• Your child is no longer considered a minor and turns 18. This regulation is subject to change in case the child has special needs.
• Your child joins the military.
• Your child marries or registers a domestic partnership.
• Your parental rights are terminated because of adoption or any other specific legal procedure.
• Your child is emancipated or dies.
Now, as you know about child support and how long it can last, here is what to do and what not to do when you cannot afford to pay child support.
Ask for official payment modification: In any circumstances, like losing your job, you find losing the custody of your child if you are unable to support them, then here is the first thing you should do. Contact the authorities of child support services and explain your situation. If they find your case legitimate, they will ask you to apply for official payment modification.
You will need to fill a legal document stating what conditions have changed for you, as well as your current savings and other information regarding your income. If the authorities find your case credible enough, they can work out a temporary payment plan for you.
Communicate with your ex-spouse who has child custody: Regardless of the relationship you have with your ex-spouse, it is necessary to speak openly with them about the situation. It can help you avoid a legal situation or further arguments or fights in front of the child.
Do not hide away or stay quiet about your situation: If you lose your job or your current income is not enough to support your child, do not hide your situation from the authorities. Childcare authorities will find out if you miss payments and provide zero explanation. If you have not talked or lied about your situation, the authorities will not let your child live with you. You will not be able to apply for an official payment modification for your child.
Do not miss your court hearing: If you have missed continual child support payments, it's likely that the court will call you or request your presence. Regardless of how overwhelming and scary, the situation seems, you must go to court on the date requested. Not visiting the court will further weaken your case and land you more trouble. They may even consider you an irresponsible parent, which is the last thing you would want to happen.
Do not defame the custodial parent: When you are unable to support your child financially, your case weakens naturally. Defaming your ex-spouse in the court or blaming them for something they did not do is not a good idea to make your case strong. It's especially important that you do not defame or badmouth them in front of your child.
Wrapping Up: It is a very painful experience for any father when he is unable to support his child financially. To save yourself from legal proceedings or to make the legal process less painful, you must inform the authorities and be truthful about your situation. Moreover, you should be open and respectful to your ex-spouse during the whole procedure so that you both can come up with a resolution that benefits that child and puts him or her first.