Things are going as smoothly as they can after a divorce, with the agreed upon child support and child custody settlements, when suddenly your ex stops paying child support. This problem is becoming more common in today’s work environment, where job security is not what it used to be 20 years ago. Your ex could lose his or her job and be unemployed for months, even years. You depend on the child support payments and need to have that money to provide for your children. What are your rights? According to U.S. News and World Report, there are currently billions of dollars owed to parents in back payments for child support:
“Recent national numbers on unpaid child support are hard to come by, but $108 billion in back payments was owed to parents with custody of children in 2009, according to the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement.”
At The Law Office of Julia M. Pendleton, we want to help you get through any obstacles that you may encounter before, during and after a divorce. Child support is established during the child custody area of divorce proceedings, determined by a variety of factors, including the parents’ incomes, health insurance, the reasonable needs and expenses of your child, and work-related childcare expenses. Julia M. Pendleton, a Greensboro child support lawyer, follows the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines to consider all of the possible variables when mediating the best child custody for your family. After the divorce, if your ex has problems making the child support payments, there are a few strategies that will help you to work through the issue, in addition to seeking a modification of the child support and getting the courts involved:
“Keep the other parent involved. If you have primary custody and your ex isn’t paying child support, it may be tempting to punish the other parent…That’s not a good move, says Sheri Atwood, founder of SupportPay.com, an automated child-support payment platform….”A lot of parents feel if you’re not going to pay, you’re not going to be involved in their life, but it works against you,” Atwood says. “By keeping them involved in your children’s day-to-day activities and the things going on, that helps them stay invested in your children, and if they can’t pay you today, at least they’re more likely, when they can afford it, to pay.”
Don’t budget for your child support. That is, if your ex isn’t dependable. “Never build it into your budget,” Kimbrough advises. “Keep it completely separate, and that way if it stops, it doesn’t change your day. If it’s there, you can let it build up for the necessities that you need for your children.”
If your ex can’t pay you everything, ask him to pay some. Not that you want to let him off the hook, but something is better than nothing. And if you ex is truly broke, it may be better for everyone if he or she gets the child support reduced (it can always be raised if he or she gets a better job). And it’s in your ex’s best interest to get things straightened out with the court right away.”
If you need legal assistance with a divorce and child support in Greensboro, The Law Office of Julia M. Pendleton will help you through this emotional process, guiding you through all available options and communicating your needs when negotiating and mediating. Current, relevant information is always made available to you so you know your child support rights as a parent. For more information, please call our office at 336-355-8796.
(Source: U.S. News & World Report: Money: What to do When Your Ex Won’t (or Can’t) Pay Child Support www.money.usnews.com, November 20, 2013)