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Posted on in Child Support

California family lawyerWhen a noncustodial parent has refused, month after month, year after year to come forth with child support payments, many parents despair in their belief that nothing more can be done--that they will simply have to continue on struggling to pay for health care costs and college savings. However, this is not necessarily true. An experienced Los Gatos child support attorney may be able to offer you a solution to a problem that you have unfortunately been dealing with for years: collecting back child support

What Is Back Child Support?

Back child support is unpaid child support that has collected over the months or years. According to CNN, over $100 billion is owed in the form of back child support across the country. With interest, it is not uncommon for a single mother to be owed $10,000, $20,000, or much more if the delinquent payments have been going on for years. Common excuses for noncustodial parents to use for lack of payment include:

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California divorce lawyer, California family law attorneyThe school year is coming to a close, which means for many families with a child visitation schedule, housing situations swap. If you are the non-custodial parent who makes regular child support payments, you may have custody during the summer months. This alteration from the normal schedule raises questions about the continued payment of your responsibilities. If your child is with you for a month or more, are you still obligated to make a payment to the other parent?

Modification Options

As much as we may wish that we can alter payment schedules on a whim, this is not possible without court approval. When you set the payment arrangements, the decision became a court order which is unmodifiable, except through the court. To make a change, you must show proof to a judge that there is a significant change in circumstances requiring the change. Unfortunately, vacation and the predetermined visitation arrangements do not typically constitute a substantial change of circumstances. Instances that may qualify include:

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California child support laws, California child support attorneyChild support payments are court ordered, and failure to do so is illegal. Many circumstances prevent someone from making the proper payments. Payment failures due to inability after the loss of a job or other special events is different than choosing to withhold payment on one’s accord. Not providing the necessary child support for your offspring can earn hefty penalties.

Contempt of Court

Child support payments require receipt within 30 days after the given order. If a noncustodial parent is no longer able to make the payment, avenues exist to alleviate the financial burden. If the court is unaware of an economic status change and no receipt of payment, the payor is guilty of criminal or civil contempt of court. Willfully disobeying judge orders is a strict violation of the law.

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