Family Matters Law Group offers several Legal Snacks, concise videos dealing with legal topics we frequently address in our office. We recommend our clients utilize this resource to acquaint themselves with basic information that pertains to their case. This reduces confusion and saves time for more efficient office visits. In this month’s Legal Snack, Edidiong Aaron answers a question that she hears frequently: job loss and custody issues. There’s definitely a right and a wrong way to handle this situation. First, hear from Mrs. Aaron:
Mrs. Aaron answered two key questions in this Legal Snack video. They are:
The most important takeaway from this video is that once you are court-ordered to pay child support, you must pay it, regardless of circumstances. Non-payment is not something to play with. You can experience a variety of penalties for failure to pay support, including wage garnishment and even jail time.
The only person who can change that child support order is the judge in your case. You cannot work out an agreement with your ex to modify your payments. The Court is the only entity that can change that order.
To avoid being placed in contempt, you need to file a modification of child support with the court. Before you do that, you must make sure that you have exhausted all possible resources to pay your required child support.
It doesn’t look good to request a lower child support payment while you’ve got multiple cars sitting in the driveway, for example. As your attorney will tell you, it doesn’t pay to try and fool the court. With your attorney’s help, the Court might be sympathetic to your job loss, but not if you’re dishonest.
Trying to work things out on your own is also not a smart move. As Mrs. Aaron points out, the amount of money you owe doesn’t stop or decrease automatically just because of a job loss. The money is still owed and the debt piles up. Waiting to see what happens is asking to be held in contempt. You could go to jail.
The best solution is to contact your child support attorney immediately, who can then petition the court for relief. This not only halts the buildup of money owed but can also lower how much money is owed each month.
If you lose your job for any reason, and you owe child support, your first call needs to be to your attorney. They can advise you further on steps to take and can immediately file paperwork with the Court to get relief.
Child support payments must be taken seriously. The penalties are steep. Many people think they can work things out themselves or talk directly to their ex. They are mistaken. Only the Court can make changes, so it’s imperative that you talk to your attorney and let them know what is going on.
Mrs. Aaron and Family Matters Law Group have years of experience dealing with child support modifications. Fathers across Henry, Clayton, and Fayette counties, as well as the Atlanta metro area, have gotten relief and assistance through her efforts. If you need representation in a case involving child support, contact us using our convenient online contact form. We’re ready to hear your story!