Recently, there just hasn’t been any good news for the economic status of our nation. The latest news on inflation and unemployment seem to be pointing to a gathering storm in the U.S. economy. As more and more people are losing their jobs, many more support orders are being defaulted on. Parents are faced with difficulties in meeting their child support obligations and former spouses are faced with dilemmas in staying compliant with their spousal support orders. The law is clear that a parent’s principal obligation is to support his or her minor children. However, this obligation is according to the parent’s circumstances and station in life. Each parent should pay for the support of the children according to his or her ability. Thus, support orders are established following principles that seek to place the interests of children as the state’s top priority.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, those who owe support and are in a position of discontinued overtime hours, or decrease in pay, or worst of all, loss of employment, have a right to request review of their support obligation.
Unpaid support orders continue to accrue principal and interest until they are paid in full. If you lose your job or your pay is decreased, it is easy for you to think “oh well, I lost my job, I simply can’t pay, so I won’t.” Unless modified, a support obligor faces accumulation of arrearages, as well as interest on the unpaid amount until the full amount is paid. In a family law case, support orders cannot be modified to a retroactive date in the past. Orders can only be modified on a going forward basis.
Therefore, it is imperative if your circumstance has changed that you seek advice of counsel on how to lower your support obligation so that you are not faced with accumulated arrears, accumulated interest, the possibility of facing contempt charges, or worse, potential suspension of your driver’s license or work license.