Child support is an ongoing financial burden that becomes too much for many parents to pay. If you find yourself in this situation, you are not alone. The experienced Charlotte family law attorneys at Remington and Dixon are here to help.
The Potential Consequences of Child Support Arrears
Many stressful things can happen when you fall behind on child support. First, the other parent can drag you back into court, which is a stressful situation on its own. The judge can then enter various orders against you. You might have more money garnished from your paychecks. Your driver’s license or passport could be suspended. Your bank accounts could be levied. In serious cases, a person can even go to jail for failing to pay child support.
A Proactive Approach Can Prevent Problems
It is possible to avoid some of these problems if you act quickly to prevent them. Child support can be modified by the court. If you get a court order that lowers your child support obligations before you fall behind on the payments, you will not face the consequences of having child support debt.
Child support cannot be modified for just any reason. First, you must prove that there has been a significant change in circumstances. Many difficult circumstances created by the COVID crisis are likely to qualify. For example, you may have lost your job or had hours cut, been forced to close your business during lockdown orders, or faced other financial difficulties beyond your control. Any of these situations (to name just a few) could qualify as a significant change in your circumstances. The North Carolina child support guidelines also presume a change in circumstances when there is a change of 15 percent or more in the amount payable, and it has been at least three years since the child support order was modified.
Proving a significant change in circumstances establishes that you are eligible for a child support modification. The next step is to determine what the new child support amount should be. Like other states, North Carolina has worksheets to establish the presumptive amount of child support (judges can vary from these numbers when it is in the best interest of the child to do so, but this is not common). These worksheets account for the amount of parenting time each parent exercises and the difference in the parents’ incomes. A child support modification attorney can help you understand these worksheets and use them to estimate what your new child support payments will be.
The Right Family Law Attorneys for Charlotte Child Support Issues
You don’t have to let yourself become buried by unmanageable child support obligations. If you consult with an attorney early, it is possible to modify the order entirely and take control of your financial future. The knowledgeable family law attorneys at Remington and Dixon have experience with all types of child support modification cases. We fight hard to ensure that child support orders fairly account for both parents and children. Call (704) 247-7110 or visit our website to request to be contacted about scheduling a consultation.
Jennifer is a founding partner at Remington & Dixon, PLLC. Jennifer concentrates her practice in the areas of family law, wills & estates, unemployment benefits appeals, and traffic. At Elon University School of Law, Jennifer was the vice president of the Public Interest Law Society and a member of the Family Law Society. During law school, Jennifer interned at the Elon University School of Law Field Placement Clinic with Legal Aid of North Carolina where she represented clients in domestic violence court proceedings.