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What to do if you have child support debt

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2022 | Child Support

Most parents in Maryland who owe back child support haven’t gotten behind on payments by choice. While there are parents that willingly refuse to pay child support, most of the time, non-paying parents are just broke. According to a report by the Office of Child Support Enforcement, most parents with child support arrears make less then $10,000 a year.

Keep up with payments

If you owe child support and you have the money to settle your debt, you should pay it off as soon as possible. Child support is different than most debts in that it cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Your paychecks could be garnished and your assets could be seized if you continue to miss payments. You can also be put in jail for unpaid child support.

Petition the court for a reduction in payments

Your child support obligations can be modified due to a change in your financial circumstances. Although you usually cannot eliminate a past child support debt, you may be able to reduce the amount you will owe in the future and work out a payment plan for the arrears. It’s a good idea to file a motion with the court as soon as possible after your work hours are reduced or you lose your job.

Try to contact the court before they contact you

You will probably have a better outcome if you are the first person to contact the court about unpaid child support. If you ignore the situation and wait for a case to open up against you, you could end up owing more money and possibly having your wages garnished. Make sure you get an official court order, not only a verbal agreement with the other parent.

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