Virginia Divorce Law Lawyers
In a divorce that involves children who are minors, the judge will order one parent to pay child support to the other. This is typically the parent who was the main breadwinner in the marriage. If you have been ordered to make payments, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some important things you should know about child support payments:
Your Payments Can Increase
It’s possible for your child support payments to increase over time. For example, if you get a large raise in your salary, you ex could petition the court to increase your obligation. For this to happen, you have to show proof that your monthly salary has permanently risen significantly.
Your Payments Can Decrease
In certain circumstances your payments could also decrease. If you show to the court that you are having severe financial difficulties, they may agree to reduce your payments. Whether you have lost your job or suffered an illness that prevents you from working, you must provide proof to the judge.
Failure to Pay Can Have Serious Consequences
The court wants to make sure that children receive the support and care they need, so they have created plenty of ways to ensure parents meet their obligations. If you don’t make your monthly payments you could face heavy fines, jail time, a suspended driver’s license, wage garnishment and even cancellation of your passport. If you truly are unable to make a payment, it’s important to notify the court as soon as possible.
More Parent Time Could Affect Your Payments
In many cases, the amount of child support you must pay correlates with the amount of time you spend with your kids. If you begin spending more time with your children and providing them with housing, food and other necessities more frequently, you could decrease your monthly payments.
Child Support Isn’t Permanent
When you’re writing a child support check to your ex every month, it might seem like you will be making these payments forever, however, child support payments usually end when the child turns 18. You could make special arrangements with your ex to continue payments while your child attends college too, but that is not mandatory.
Certain Income Isn’t Looked at When Determining Child Support Amounts
It is important to understand that not all the income you have will count when determining your ability to pay. The court will only count your gross income. If you receive government benefits like SSDI, it won’t count toward your ability to pay.
Consulting with a Child Support Lawyer
If you are having trouble making your child support payments or think that your obligations are too high and unfair, you should talk to an experienced child support lawyer, like a child support lawyer in Rockville, MD. He or she can review your case and advise you the best way to proceed. Many child support lawyers offer free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose by speaking to one.
Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into making child support payments.