If you are subject to a court order requiring you to pay child support, you have probably made every effort to meet your obligations. Like most parents, you have likely made adjustments to your own lifestyle to ensure the needs of your child are addressed and fully met. Unfortunately, however, the current labor market can be extremely volatile, and it is not uncommon for many individuals to lose their jobs through no fault of their own. For a parent paying child support, such a situation can create enormous challenges which he or she must address directly or risk potential consequences.
Penalties for Non-Support
In addition to the negative effect on the life and well-being of your child, failing to pay ordered child support can lead to administrative and criminal penalties. The most serious cases can result in the suspension of driving privileges, revocation of professional licenses, and even criminal prosecution. It is important to realize, however, that most such consequences are reserved for those who “willfully” shirk their support responsibilities, despite having the ability to provide the ordered support.
A Proactive Approach
It may be a cliché, but it is true: bad things sometimes happen to good people. Good people, though, are usually able to find ways to deal with an adverse situation. If you have lost your job, especially if it was due to circumstances beyond your control, you should consider filing a petition with the court to modify your child support order. A family law attorney can help you do so efficiently and without delay. It is important that the court be made aware of your situation immediately, and that your petition includes evidence of your good faith efforts at finding new employment.
By showing the significant change in your circumstances, you will likely qualify to have your support obligations reduced. It will probably be done with the expectation, however, that, when you have found a new job, your child support requirement will be again adjusted in accordance with your income. As a parent with a vested interest in your child’s well-being, the temporary relief is likely to be enough; when life gets back to normal, your support obligations will resume as well.
For help with a child support order modification, or any other family-related legal matter, contact the knowledgeable St. Charles family law attorneys at Bochte, Kunziar & Navigato, LLP. We have been serving the needs of families throughout the region for more than 40 years, and are ready to put our experience to work for you. Call 630-377-7770 to schedule a free consultation today.