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What to Do if You Cannot Pay Child Support


Divorce is never easy but when a case involves children, it will have long-term impacts. In Florida, all parents of minor children are expected to financially support them until they turn 18 years old or they graduate high school. During divorce, one parent is often ordered to pay child support. While child support can support a child’s well-being, it can also become a burden for those who have to pay it. If you are having trouble paying child support, you do have options. Below, our Orlando child support lawyer explains what these are.

Reach an Agreement 

It is easy to assume that recipients of child support will become angry if they do not receive payments. Fortunately, this is not always the case. If you believe your former spouse may understand your situation, reaching an agreement with them can make things much easier. Even if you reach an agreement, the court will have to approve it. As such, you should still gather evidence, such as proof that you lost your job, to give your agreement a better chance of approval.

Mediate the Matter 

Unfortunately, recipients of child support are not always understanding when their former spouse cannot pay it. If you feel as though your former partner will become angry due to your inability to pay child support, they may petition the court to hold you in contempt or garnish your wages. Before getting to this point, you may choose to enter mediation. Mediation is a process that will involve you, your former spouse, and a third party mediator. The mediator will help foster communication and compromise between you and the other side so you can resolve your child support issue.

Take the Matter to Court 

If you and your former spouse cannot reach an agreement on your own or during mediation, you may have to take the matter to court. When you do this, you ask the court to reduce the amount of child support you are obligated to pay. Eliminating child support entirely is usually not an option. Still, you can ask the court to lower the child support amount to something that is more affordable if you can present strong evidence to support your case.

No matter which route you choose to lower the amount of support you are obligated to pay, it is critical that you do not make any changes to the current order without first obtaining a judge’s approval. If you modify the amount of support you pay on your own, your former spouse may argue that you are refusing to pay and take legal action on their own.

Our Child Support Lawyer in Orlando Can Help with Your Case 

If you can no longer afford your child support payments, our Orlando child support lawyer at Anderson & Ferrin can help. Our seasoned attorney will negotiate with your former partner or present your case to the court so you have the best chance of a favorable outcome. Call us now at 407-412-7041 or contact us online to request a free initial consultation and to learn more.


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