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When parents paying child support face financial crisis

Parents in Texas want to provide for their children, and child support can be an important part of that picture. Child support payments help to make sure that children are able to maintain a decent lifestyle, and kids whose parents pay support are more likely to stay out of poverty. However, child support determinations are based on parental income. Parents can't pay more than they make, after all. Payments should reflect the income of the parents at the time the order was made, but parents' fortunes can change over time. In particular, parents who fall ill, develop a disability or lose their jobs may face severe financial hardship and be unable to pay their child support bills.

When parents cannot pay child support, they can find themselves facing serious legal and financial problems. Child support debt generally cannot be discharged even in personal bankruptcy. In addition, parents can find themselves facing wage garnishment. They may not be able to receive passports, and some might even face jail time. For people dealing with illness or disability, this can make their situation even worse. However, child support payments do not have to stay the same when parents are unable to pay.

Child support should reflect a parent's current income. If this changes and a parent is facing hardship, they can return to court to seek a child support modification. This may change the support order on a permanent or temporary basis to reflect serious changes in circumstances. Parents should be able to show that they are not just trying to avoid making support payments.

When parents face financial hardship, they may not be sure how they can get out of child support debt. A family law attorney may be able to help a parent to seek a modification of the child support order to better reflect their real income.

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