A recent study showed that a total of $35 billion in child support is owed all across the US, but only 41% is actually paid. This is down from about 60% in 2009, largely due to the economic downturn over the past several years.
One thing many parents behind on child support don’t realize is that the court can, and will, alter your child support requirements if you legitimately cannot pay them. If you had a well-paying job when the court first established the numbers, it is not fair that you have to pay that same amount if you lost your job and cannot find another one.
The key is speaking with a Jacksonville Florida Family Law Attorney as soon as you can to help negotiate your payments. The court often will only lower your payments, but not reduce any outstanding amount you already owe. If your income drop is only temporary, this might not be an issue; however, if you cannot find new work, you are simply adding more and more money to what you will eventually have to pay.
Courts consider other factors when determining the level of support to pay. For example, the court may consider how often you have custody of the child — more time means you likely have higher expenses. But the court needs help in making this calculation, and a Jacksonville Florida Family Law Attorney can help you in that court proceeding. If you have a custodial issue and would like to speak with an attorney, contact a Florida Family Law Attorney here in Jacksonville.