It is important to stay on top of child support payments in California. The price for failing to pay child support can be staggering: You could face wage garnishments, you might lose your license, or your credit score could tank. Read more to learn about other options if you are currently struggling with your child support payments.
Gather evidence for your case
If you go before a judge, you could get your child support payments lowered to an acceptable amount that you can afford. For this to work, you need to show that your paychecks are lower than normal. Conversely, you could show copies of your bills to show that they are higher than they were previously.
Have a conversation with your co-parent
Your co-parent does not have any legal say on your court-mandated child support order. However, speaking with your co-parent for the short term may be beneficial because they might work out a budget with you. If your co-parent is unwilling to work out an agreement with you, still pay as much child support as you can manage. This will show the judge that you are trying your best and are being proactive with your finances.
Utilize the government programs available to you
The Office of Child Support Enforcement teaches parents how to advance in their career and explore different employment opportunities. The Head Start program educates parents on the development of their children as they are growing up. Other programs focus more on housing opportunities, including the Strong Families Initiative. While these programs may seem unrelated to child support, they all add up to making it easier to make your payments.
Working with your co-parent, documenting your bills and pay stubs, and making use of government programs can significantly help you to make your child support payments. If you need assistance getting the court order modified, you may want help from a family law attorney.