Even though you and your former spouse divorced, you still must financially support your child. You want to honor your commitment and provide for your daughter or son, but you fell on hard times recently.
If you struggle to keep up with child support payments, see what National Family Solutions says on the issue. Learn how to do right by your child and in Illinois law.
Cut your expenses
Sit down and review your current budget and expenses. Making a few cuts and sacrifices could free up money to put toward child support. For example, cutting the cord and switching to a single streaming service could help, or you could try cooking more meals at home or eating out less.
Communicate with the other parent
If you already face money issues or expect to soon, let your ex know about it. Your marriage or divorce may make it hard for you to have this conversation, but think more about your child and less about how this situation makes you feel. Your former spouse could be more understanding than you think, and the two of you could think of an alternative plan together. If you agree you may skip a few payments or make reduced payments, get your agreement in writing, and have a judge approve them.
Enlist help from the Child Support Enforcement Agency
You may not know it, but every state has a Child Support Enforcement Agency. If you have a hard time meeting your financial obligations, the federal agency could modify your child support order. To qualify for a modification, you must explain how your financial situation keeps you from meeting your monetary responsibilities.
Do not feel shame that you cannot make your child support orders. Understanding your options helps you take care of your child and yourself.