If you are a parent, it is probably very important to you to pay child support to help take care of your child. However, if your child support payments are too high, you could be struggling financially to cover your payments. This can put you in a tough financial situation when it comes to paying your other bills and can make it difficult for you to keep up with your obligation, which could land you in legal trouble in family court. Luckily, there are a few steps that you can take if you can't afford your child support payments.
Pay What You Can
Even if you can't afford to make your full child support payments, you shouldn't just ignore the situation and stop paying completely. In general, it's smart to pay what you can. Then, you can prove that you have been trying to keep up with your child support obligations, and you will be sending at least some money to help with the support of your child.
When building a case, it's important to come up with and keep any documentation that you have that helps prove why you haven't been making your payments or why you can't afford to continue paying the same amount of child support. If you have been sick or injured, for example, bringing a doctor's note or proof of your hospitalization to court can help. If your hours have been cut at work and you haven't been making as much money as you once were, gathering up paycheck stubs is smart.
File a Motion
You may be able to file a motion to ask for reduced child support payments. This is something that you might be able to do on your own, but in general, it's best to hire an attorney to help you if possible. This is because an attorney who knows and understands the family court system can help you with every step of filing your motion. If you can't afford to hire an attorney of your own — which is very possible if you have been having trouble paying your child support payments — consider contacting your local legal aid office to find out about affordable options for hiring a lawyer.
Realizing that you can't afford your child support payments can be upsetting and might have you concerned about your legal trouble. Luckily, following these steps can help you if you are in this situation.