Sometimes, parents in Florida find that they can’t continue to make their child support payments in full and on time. This can be a nerve-wracking experience for parents who fear that they will face legal consequences for unpaid support. Luckily, there are provisions making it possible for parents whose circumstances have changed to modify their support payments. These provisions are clearly defined and can be quite narrow, so it’s important to understand their limitations.
When you can make a change
In general, it’s not possible to change child support payments because your co-parent has remarried or started to earn more money. Modifications are often made in cases where a parent can no longer work due to disability or if they’ve been unemployed for a length of time. Speaking with a lawyer is imperative if your circumstances change.
Handling legal issues effectively
One of the most challenging things about the child support system is that it often adds financial penalties for parents who pay late. While this is designed to help children who have been going without their parents’ support, it can make it impossible for parents who fall behind to ever catch up. The size of the penalties can be too great for lower-income parents.
Again, that’s why it’s important to get legal advice. An attorney may help you understand how to proceed. They may be able to advise you about how to handle the payment issue and help you show the court that you really are struggling and not just avoiding responsibility.
Being involved in your child’s life
It’s also important to remember the children. Child support is for children, not custodial parents. Courts know that the more involved and supportive adults are in a child’s life, the better that life will be. By communicating effectively with the court and your co-parent, it’s possible to show you’re still committed to being involved.