Child custody is an expense you will need to budget each month. Not adequately planning for it could cause stress when you remember a payment deadline and have no money to cover those costs.
If you encounter financial hardship, you may consider skipping your custody obligations. However, this decision could have detrimental effects on your life including legal trouble.
Communication can prevent a lot of consequences if you cannot make your child support payments. First, you should communicate your concerns to your ex. Express your desire to maintain your obligations. Disclose the reasons why you cannot afford payments right now. Share some suggestions for solutions that may resolve the issue at least until you can begin making payments again.
You will also want to communicate your situation to the courts. According to California Child Support Services, some of the reasons to request a modification to your child support amount include the following:
- Job loss
- Custody changes
Make a comprehensive list of your expenses. Child custody payments should take precedence. Find ways to cut back on your expenses. If you do need to purchase a more expensive item, make sure you have enough money to pay child support first. Failing to make payments can result in wage and tax garnishment, fines, confiscation of your driver’s license and passport, and contempt of court which could result in jail time.
Your proactive approach to paying your child support can help you maintain a good reputation and avoid legal trouble. Contributing to the monetary needs of your children may also provide fulfillment to your parenting obligations.