Child support is not a permanent obligation, but it is a very important one. No parent needs to be told of the importance of taking care of their children, but you may not necessarily agree with the rulings of the court. However, disagreement doesn't mean that you don't have to make your monthly payments.
As you adjust to life after a divorce, child support payments may be one of the more uncomfortable aspects of your new life. Nevertheless, it can be a responsibility that you easily meet each month with careful planning. Follow these dos and don'ts of paying child support to protect the best interests of you and your children.
Do Prioritize Child Support No Matter What Your Income Is
If you owe monthly child support payments, adjust your budget so that you can make them on time. The majority of uncollected child support payments are owed by parents who earn less than $10,000 annually. However, having a limited income doesn't mean that those parents don't need to prioritize the care of their children.
Sacrifices may simply be a part of life until you can rearrange your monthly budget to accommodate this expense. Talk to a family law attorney if you feel that the amount you owe is unreasonable. However, you should still plan to make the payments for the foreseeable future until your children reach adulthood.
Don't Talk to Your Children About Child Support
Keep all talk of child support far away from little ears. Although you may want to tell your children about child support payments if your ex is making them feel like you aren't living up to your obligations, resist the temptation. Only discuss child support matters when your children are not around. Don't bring it up to your children under any circumstances.
Your little one is not your confidant. Parentification of a child is a sad term that psychologists use for children who feel like they must take care of their parents. It's a role reversal that can harm children's emotional health. Avoid making your children feel responsible for you during or after the divorce by refraining from venting to them or burdening them with adult issues.
Do Keep Time With Your Kids Separate From Child Support Matters
If you and your ex are in a feud over child support payments, that doesn't mean that you need to skip time with your kids. Even if you owe child support and are behind for several months, your children still need you in their lives. They should not even be informed of the fact that you're behind in making payments.
Discuss the situation with an attorney if your ex is trying to keep your children from seeing you because of child support matters. Visitation and child support should always be considered separately. Kids need to maintain their relationship with both parents throughout their childhood - regardless of the child support situation.
Don't Skip Communication With Your Ex
If you run into problems with child support payments, the best way to handle the situation is to keep your ex in the know. Communication with your ex is important when you are co-parenting. You may avoid going to court or otherwise dealing with drama if you simply level with your ex about your situation. Try to make payments on time but communicate when you can't.
Finally, keep in mind that you are obligated to pay child support if the court rules that you owe it. If you need help with child support or other family law matters, contact JP Coleman Law, LLC Attorneys At Law. Our caring lawyers understand the toll that child support can take on a parent and can help you protect your family.