When it comes to child custody in Tavares, some parents think they can sweeten their divorce settlement by agreeing to joint/50-50 custody. Though there are many advantages to shared custody, it is not uncommon for some people to use it in an attempt to pay less in child support. When the courts establish child custody and support, one of the most important factors they consider is each parent’s financial profile. In other words, if you are the higher-earning spouse, you will probably end up paying more in child support than you might think or like.
One question you may have on your mind is what happens if you cannot afford to pay child support after the divorce is final or your income takes a slight dive. No matter what your circumstances are, the law has provisions to help you stay in compliance and ensure your child does not miss out on the financial support she or he deserves.
Know that your feelings are okay
There is nothing wrong with feeling ashamed or out-of-sorts about your inability to pay the amount ordered for child support. The courts are well aware that life happens and people lose income and jobs all the time. Unless you notify them by filing a petition, you must abide by that court order.
Inform your child’s other parent of your circumstances. Regardless of how much it may pain you to do so, giving her or him a heads up about child support can help prevent unnecessary bickering and court battles. Be honest and respectful when telling the other parent why you are having trouble paying child support. Sometimes a little kindness and thoughtfulness can keep you from falling too far behind and encourage your ex-spouse to work with you on payments.
File a petition for adjustment
The courts allow for child support modifications, but only when necessary. Unless you can prove the payments would cause undue financial hardship, such as a loss of employment, significant pay cut, reduction in work hours, etc., you would have to find a way to pay the amount you owe by the due date each month.
Keep in mind that modification does not eliminate child support. Parents must do everything necessary to provide stability, safety and security for their children, including paying child support.