Counseling You Through Life's Difficult Times
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Child Custody
  4.  » What to do when a parent cannot afford child support

What to do when a parent cannot afford child support

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2023 | Child Custody

Child support is an important aspect of family law, as it seeks to ensure the needs of children are taken care of. Despite the great intentions and deep importance of child support, it is not a perfect system. Sometimes, Maryland parents are asked to pay more than they can afford, and they need to take action to create a more realistic plan.

Asking for a modification in child support

The first thing parents should do when they feel the child support they have been ordered to pay is unrealistic is contact the Child Support Office where the order was issued. A formal motion will need to be filed requesting a modification. When requesting a modification, a parent can cite changed circumstances, which gives them an opportunity to clarify why they cannot afford the amount ordered. Changed circumstances can include job changes outside of the parent’s control, changes in medical status and ability to work, or changes in the child’s needs.

Important notes about child support modifications

There are a few things parents should keep in mind when requesting a modification. Firstly, it is far better to take this legal action than it is to simply not pay the child support ordered, as this can have serious consequences. Secondly, it is very important to have a court formally modify the order in case there is any future conflict about child support.

Some parents attempt to resolve child support issues through oral agreements. This may seem like the path of least resistance, but it can leave both parties vulnerable if there is a future dispute. Additionally, previous oral agreements will likely not be recognized as valid if the court does get involved in the future. Therefore, when it comes to child support, it is a good idea to speak with a Maryland family lawyer about how to proceed.

FindLaw Network