If you share children with your ex, part of your divorce decree most likely discusses your financial responsibilities including child support payments. Breaching this agreement could have several repercussions.
Understanding your options if you do not have adequate funds can help you avoid legal consequences. The sooner you address your financial woes, the less likely you will face legal trouble.
Communicate with your ex
If you know you cannot afford upcoming child support payments, contact your ex and be forthcoming about your situation. According to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, ignoring your responsibilities could jeopardize your driving privileges, result in the removal of your passport and incur financial levies on your income or tax returns.
See if you cannot work out an alternate payment plan until you can regain your footing and begin making payments again.
Disclose your situation to the court
Job loss, unexpected medical expenses and economic difficulties could make it impossible to pay child support. If your ex refuses to give you flexibility, you might need to petition the court for a modification of the agreement. With their help, you may be able to modify certain provisions for a temporary time. Failing to inform the courts of your inability to pay can result in costly legal consequences even if you cannot pay for legitimate reasons.
Pay as consistently as you can
Consistent payments will build your credibility in case there are times when making payments is not as easy. Having a good track record may highlight your commitment as a parent and corroborate your claims of financial distress.