As a child support attorney, we can help you to negotiate any back child support payments that you owe. It is common for people to get into financial binds and be unable to meet their obligations. The challenge is that once the court sets the amount you have to pay, it can’t be simply waived or postponed like another debt. If you get too far behind, the other party can take you to court, and you can even end up in jail.
If you work with a lawyer, this can typically be prevented since we can negotiate on your behalf with the other party and represent you in court before a judge. The key is to make a case for why you are unable to meet your obligations and what you will be able to do going forward. If you make enough money, simply not paying isn’t a good argument. You must demonstrate that you need more of the money you make to pay for your basic living expenses or to support other children that you have. The goal of the court is to ensure that your children are provided for, not to make you homeless. Keeping this in mind, hiring an attorney and showing up to court is the first step.
People will typically get into legal trouble by not responding to requests for child support, not making any payments, and not showing up for court hearings. If you fail to appear in court, a judge can issue a warrant for your arrest, and many people have spent time in jail as a result. If, however, you make an effort to meet your obligations but simply cannot pay the full amount, it becomes much easier to plead your case before a judge. As a child support attorney, we fight for our clients and seek adjustments to what is owed on a regular basis.
Another reason people tend to need help is if they didn’t know that they had any support obligations in the first place. For example, if you didn’t know that you had a child, how could you have been paying child support? Logic would say that you don’t owe anything, but the legal system doesn’t work this way. Even if you are not aware of a child, the mother could come back at a later date and seek current and back child support. This can create a difficult situation since most people don’t have enough savings to take care of the obligation. The court will often garnish wages, as a result, which can hurt your ability to pay for housing, food, etc. In order to prevent this scenario, we recommend hiring a child support attorney that can work with the court to create a plan for caring for the child going forward without crippling you financially today. The key is to take action right away so that the situation won’t escalate. To learn how we can help, call to schedule a consultation.