Why Did My Child Support Payments Stop?
It can be financially frustrating when it happens, but there are instances where child support payments unexpectedly stop. If you are a custodial parent in Florida and your child support payments have ceased, it is natural to wonder what happened and what you should do next. Understanding some of the common reasons behind such occurrences could assist you in determining what steps you should take to address the issue.
From job changes to reaching an age of majority, there are a range of reasons why child support payments cease. Unless the paying parent has a legal right to stop payments, communication from an Orlando divorce lawyer could be a way to have you once again receiving payments.
Financial Changes and Order Modifications
One of the most common reasons for the cessation or delay of child support payments is a significant change in the financial circumstances of the paying parent. This financial shift could be due to job loss, unemployment, or a substantial pay cut. If the non-custodial parent is facing financial hardships, they may be unable to fulfill their child support obligations. That said, unless they seek a modification and have that request approved, they are still legally bound to make those payments to avoid penalties.
Typically what will happen if a person loses their job and is unable to secure another source of income is that they will seek a modification of the child support court order, citing changes in their financial situation. These requests happen quite often and are often granted by a court, particularly when it is clear that the individual is not able to make the payment amount that they were able to afford when the divorce agreement was finalized. A modification could lead to a temporary or permanent reduction in child support payments.
Communication with the Non-Custodial Parent
A first, proactive step to take if you are worried about not receiving child support payments is to attempt open communication with the non-custodial parent who has stopped making payments. In some cases, child support payments may have stopped due to misunderstandings or a financial issue that is temporary in nature. A civil conversation could help to clarify the situation and lead to the resumption of payments.
If you have tried to have a calm discussion about child support payments but your child’s other parent refuses to communicate with you, it may be necessary to contact the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) Child Support Program. An Orlando divorce lawyer can do this for you and introduce you to other remedies, including taking appropriate legal action to ensure the enforcement of child support obligations. Paying parents have a responsibility to make child support payments until a child reaches the age of majority.
Did the regular child support payments you were receiving stop? If your Florida child support payments have ceased, it is essential not to panic, but rather take proactive steps to address the issue. To learn about your options, connect with the family law attorneys at Donna Hung Law. Call 407-999-0099 or contact us online to book your consultation.