Don’t Rely on a Verbal Child Support Agreement

agreement.jpegLet’s say you and your ex divorced several years ago. It was somewhat contentious but the two of you try to maintain some contact because you have children. As part of your divorce, your spouse retained custody of the kids and you have to pay $500 a month in child support. But after a while you got a different job and could no longer afford the $500 a month. You spoke with your ex and she agreed to accept $300 a month instead. You have been paying the $300 a month like clockwork for the past 20 months, but now your ex says you owe her the difference — $4000. Do you have to pay?

Unfortunately, you may have to. You and your wife may have made an oral agreement, but the court might not give that agreement any effect because the only agreement on record is the one that said you pay $500 a month. That oral agreement — though made with the best of intentions — could end up costing you thousands of dollars.

Instead, you should attempt to modify your custody arrangement in court. This can be done, and is easier when your spouse agrees to the change. Speak with a Jacksonville Family Law Attorney to discuss your options.

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