As a Pennsylvania parent, one of the main priorities of your life is to properly care for your children. You love your kids, and you want to take care of them, but your circumstances may not allow you to do that as you want. After your divorce, you may find that your financial situation is different, and you are no longer able to meet the terms of your support order.
If you are unable to pay child support or pay the full amount you owe according to your order, that does not make you a bad parent. At this point, you will want to find out if you have grounds to seek a modification to your existing child support order. Before approving this request, the court will review your situation to determine if there are valid grounds to change the terms.
Life changes can be expensive
Life does not stop changing simply because your divorce was final. Things can continue to change for you, and these changes are not always positive. This may include things like a job loss, emergency medical needs, unexpected bills and more. When you find yourself in this situation, it may help to do the following:
- Don't wait – If you think you might need to seek a modification to your support order, don't delay in starting this process. Waiting too long or simply not paying can lead to additional complications.
- Work with the other parent – If you cannot pay, it can be helpful to speak with the other parent about a reasonable payment plan. This is often less expensive and less stressful than litigation.
- Do the best you can – It is helpful to keep up with your payments to the best of your ability. Every little bit helps, and your efforts can help your case when you petition the court for a modification.
Your inability to keep up with your child support payments has no bearing on your right to have an active role in the life of your children. The other parent cannot refuse your rightful visitation time because you cannot make your full support payments.
The help you deserve
Seeking a modification to a child support payment can be a complex process. You may want to speak with an attorney about your options and the most appropriate way forward for your situation. Seeking a formal modification will protect your interests in the event that a dispute with the other parent arises over your financial obligations.