Many parents may be owed child support in the U.S. that are not collecting the child support that is owed and many families are facing the strain of either child support that is owed or owing child support or, perhaps, both. While it may be tempting to tie custody issues to child support, it is best to keep the two issues separate. It is better to keep the parent that owes child support involved rather than to keep the child from the parent. When parents remain invested in the lives of the children, not only can it be in the best interests of the children, the parent may be more likely to pay when the parent is able.
One expert notes that child support and child custody and visitation are independent issues and should remain as such. Parents who are experiencing difficulty collecting child support should not deny the other parent visitation and those who are having trouble seeing the children should not refuse to pay child support. Additionally, parents who engage in this kind of behavior could wind up in trouble with the courts so it is best to avoid altogether. Another tip one expert offers is to not include child support in a budget so it is not missed if it is not paid but can be build up for the needs of the children if it is paid according to how it is due.
Delinquent payments of child support that is owed can be a stressful issue for both the parent who is supposed to receive the child support, as well as the paying parent if the paying parent is experiencing difficulty meeting a child support agreement obligation. While legal options exist for parents seeking to collect child support, relief may also exist for paying parents through a child support modification request that can be made through the court. The approval of a child support modification will depend on the circumstances of the request and any changed situation for the paying parent or child.
Whether a parent is facing challenges related to child support enforcement or the challenges related to difficulty making monthly payments of child support, legal remedies may be available. A family law attorney can help a parent in either situation evaluate options and proceed with the best course of action for both the parent and the child.
Source: US News, “What to Do When Your Ex Won’t (or Can’t) Pay Child Support,” Geoff Williams, Nov. 20, 2013