Like virtually all parents, you want your kids to grow up in a safe, happy and healthy environment. While you are no longer with your children’s other parent, you want to provide for your young ones in the best way possible. Keeping up with child support is usually an effective way to do that.
Few things are more stressful than having insufficient funds to pay child support. Still, what you think about your obligations may be incorrect. If you believe any of the following myths about child support, you may not make smart family or financial decisions.
Myth 1: Courts regularly review support obligations
If you regularly feel strapped for cash, you may think someone at the courthouse monitors your financial situation. That simply is not the case. If your financial situation changes, you must ask the court to modify your child support order. Until you receive a modification, you must continue to comply with the existing order.
Myth 2: You can informally agree to changes
You may have a great relationship with your former spouse. When times are hard, you may ask your ex to accept a smaller child support payment. Even if the co-parent agrees, you cannot informally change support obligations. Remember, your child support is part of a court order. If you do not comply with it, you may find yourself in contempt of court.
Myth 3: Support modifications are retroactive
Generally, child support modifications are not retroactive. On the contrary, you must comply with a court order until you receive a subsequent one. Therefore, as soon as you realize you are unable to meet your financial obligations, you may want to ask a judge to lower them.
Myth 4: You do not need to keep independent records
As you probably know, payment systems are not infallible. If your former spouse or anyone else accuses you of missing payments, you want to have independent proof you made them. Therefore, always keep a record of any payments you make. Also, document changes to your personal income and visitation time, in case you need to request a support modification.
Child support payments ensure children have the necessary resources to grow up successfully. If you are under a court order to pay child support, though, you may believe some things that simply are not true. By rethinking common myths, you can likely better strategize for meeting your financial obligations.