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What can I do when I cannot pay child support?

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2020 | Child Support |

After you receive an order from the court to pay child support, you may end up at one point having trouble making your payments. Whether you lose your job or suffer a pay cut, struggling with money can make it tough to pay your own bills let alone your child support obligation.

The Pennsylvania Bureau of Child Support Enforcement explains that you should not try to work something out between you and your child’s other parent because this will not impact the court order. If you were to stop paying, the state will still show you owe support and may charge you fees for not paying on time or in full. You also will not get credit for any payments that do not go through the child support system. You need to take legal steps.

Legal options

If you have a major change in circumstances, which would include the loss of a job or reduction in income, then you can ask for a modification to your child support order. You will need to petition the court to make this request and attend a hearing where the judge will consider the changes in your circumstances. The judge may lower your child support payments. This is your best long-term option if you think you will continue to struggle to make payments.

Possible penalties

If you do not pay your child support and take no action to fix the situation, then you could face penalties that include losing your driver’s license, paying fines, going to jail and losing your tax refunds. You should always contact the child support enforcement office if you have trouble paying to avoid penalties.