What to do if you cannot afford child support payments

If the court has ordered you to pay child support in New Hampshire, you may be wondering what your options are if you cannot afford to make the payments. You may expect for your ex-spouse to be understanding of your situation and allow you to catch up on child support payments when you can at a later date. However, your ex has no obligation to do that. 

Child support payments are to care for your kids. If you cannot stay current on your financial obligations to them, their other parent can pursue legal options to remedy the situation. Take some time to learn about what can happen to you if you do not take proper steps to rectify your situation. 

Penalties for not staying current on child support payments 

You may have legitimate reasons for not making complete child support payments. But if you do not notify the courts so they can consider modifying your child support order, you could find yourself dealing with the following issues. 

  •        A warrant for arrest, which can lead to criminal charges
  •        Employment income, unemployment and workers’ compensation garnishments
  •        Liens placed on property 

The penalties for being in arrears in child support payments are exceptionally harsh. They can make it harder for you to gain control of your financial situation. If your inability to pay is due to job loss, disability, medical expenses or some other kind of extenuating circumstances, you should inform your ex-partner and the courts immediately. You must prove you are unable to meet your current child support obligations and would like to have the payments lowered to better accommodate your financial situation. 

If your ex-spouse is not honoring the child visitation agreement because you are behind in child support payments, do not take matters into your own hands. You still have visitation rights unless the courts rescind them. You and the other parent must follow the agreement regardless of your ability to pay child support. If not, you may need to petition the courts to have the agreement enforced or modified.

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