Because child support can be a burdensome obligation for people who still need to meet all of their expenses plus make regular payments, it is important to establish a budget through some careful planning.
Getting ready for child support early on and making consistent payments
The first and most important step is to take an inventory of your income, expenses, and factor in your support payments. Single parents tend to be more stretched financially than couples or single people without children, so money needs to be managed much more carefully. The parent who receives the money should also be considering how the support payment will be spent between things like food, healthcare, and education. Estimates for all childcare expenses should be made in advance, and it is likely to overspend many months out of the year, especially if a child gets sick or changes in parenting arrangements need to be made.
Spending should be controlled as much as realistically possible. Even receiving a bonus or gift of money should be considered as part of the overall budget, as there may be months with less money upcoming in the future. Arguments often occur between spouses over disposable income that is spent on things that are purely for recreation or personal enjoyment while they are trying to raise a child.
During a divorce proceeding, it can also be beneficial to set aside money aside from legal fees if you know there will be an upcoming child support order. It is best to start making payments on time right away, as courts can order that missed payments be made with interest in the future. Someone who is significantly behind on their child support can lose their driver’s license, or possibly even be put in jail.
Administrative details are also important for remaining current on payments. You should have an account set up with your local child support enforcement office to automatically deduct and collect the money owed from your earnings. In some areas, payments may still have to be made manually. In either situation, it is best to address this situation as soon as possible to avoid issues later.
Changing a child support order
If a child support order is too expensive and you are having difficulty making payments, it is best to talk to your lawyer about a modification right away. Once an order is in place, all of the payments must be made until the child reaches adulthood. A judge will only change this order based on new evidence or changed circumstances such as a new job.
Talk to an attorney in the Tampa area
If you need assistance with child support, divorces, child custody, and related family law issues there are local lawyers who can help. Contact an attorney in Florida at:
1901 Ulmerton Road, Suite 435, Clearwater, FL 33762