What Happens If I Can’t Pay Child Support?

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What Happens If I Can't Pay Child Support?Financial and other circumstances usually change so often, and so quickly, that the law cannot possibly keep up. As a result, over half of child support obligors are behind on their payments. These common situations almost always end in one of two ways. Sometimes, the slow, inevitable collection process takes over. The Prosecutor and Family Support Division, who is responsible for collecting delinquent child support, can place liens, garnish your wages, levy your bank account, and take other actions.

The other way is to work with a Liberty child support lawyer. If you cannot pay your child support, the obligation probably needs to be lowered. A lawyer may be able to modify child support obligations without going to court. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, an attorney takes care of immediate concerns, like the aforementioned harsh collection methods.

Resolving Arrearage

If you fall into a hole, you must stop digging. If you fall behind on child support payments, pay what you can. Every dollar you pay reduces the arrearage. There are emotional reasons for payment as well. Your children need to know that you did your best to fulfill your commitment.

Sometimes arrearage settlements involve about a 50 percent upfront payment. Then, the obligor makes additional monthly payments until the arrearage is paid.

Modifying the Obligation

Missouri is an income share state. Several factors apply to the child support obligation. Usually, the judge will lower the child support amount if financial or other circumstances have materially, substantially, and permanently changed.

Generally, a 10 percent change may constitute a material and substantial change. Other changes may occur as well. These changes may involve the number of overnight visits or the obligor’s income. Moreover, the change must be permanent. Lost overtime opportunities due to global pandemics may not be a permanent change.

The obligor’s income change should be in good faith. People cannot quit high-paying jobs simply to lower their child support or alimony obligations. They also should not attempt to hide income.

Child support modification matters are normally rather straightforward but may have complicated fact patterns such as people being self-employed or having a fluctuating income. For a confidential consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Liberty, contact Aramjoo Law Firm LLC.


How does a Missouri judge calculate child support payments?

Some primary factors include the number of children, the income of both parents, and the visitation schedule.

When can I modify the payment schedule?

A judge may modify child support, up or down, if an important factor has materially, substantially, and permanently changed.

Can I still visit my kids if I’m behind on child support payments?

Absolutely. Your ex cannot hold the children for ransom.

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