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How to effectively handle delinquent payments

For couples in Kent County who share a child and are no longer together, the main focus should be on the care of their child. However, there are times when child support is in dispute or a parent cannot afford the payments, and so the supporting parent fails to meet his or her financial obligations. While for some it can be difficult to meet the everyday expenses that come with having a child to support, it's a necessary part of being a parent, especially after the marriage ends or the couple is living apart.

Parents who have outstanding delinquent support payments are at risk of being brought back into court by the other parent and even facing jail time. Being behind on support not only causes legal entanglements but also drives a wedge between the child and the parent who is failing to provide the support.

In many instances, the custodial parent is female and has to try to shield the child from the behind-the-scenes issues that are cropping up with the other parent not meeting the legal obligation as it was laid out. It is noteworthy in this respect that if a supporting parent is involved with the child that parent is more likely to take a vested interest in the child's well-being and therefore will try to make the payments in full and on time.

If there is a true problem making payments, sometimes an alteration to the agreement is feasible. Depending on the circumstances, a parent might be able to adjust the payments until they are in a better situation. It must be remembered that monthly payments will stay the same until the court agrees to require a lower support payment. Those who are having issues with their child support payments must bear in mind that simply ignoring the matter will make it worse.

In the case of supporting parents who are not receiving what they're supposed to based on the agreement, there is a difficult decision that has to be made with shielding the child from thinking negatively about the other parent and pursuing what is justifiably theirs. When there are circumstances in which monthly payments are not being made as they should be, the wisest first step may be to speak to a family law attorney about getting the matter straightened out.

Source:, "Child support a recurring battle for families," Michelle Singletary, July 12, 2014

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Law Office of Steven J. Hirsch, Esq

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