Parents who fail to pay child support may face fines or other financial penalties for not complying with a court order. However, North Carolina parents might be able to ask a judge to modify that order. Generally speaking, child support payments are based on a parent’s income as well as the value of any assets that person may own. If a person’s financial circumstances change, the amount he or she pays in child support each month will likely change as well.
A person may experience a change in circumstances after losing a job or after incurring significant medical expenses. In some cases, individuals may have their hours cut or see a reduction in pay or benefits without actually losing their jobs. A parent may ask a court to modify an existing child support order if it becomes more expensive to raise his or her child.
Those who are seeking a child support modification are encouraged to do so in court. It is possible that the child’s other parent won’t honor the terms of an informal modification. It is also possible that a judge won’t recognize the terms of such an agreement. This may result in a parent owing back support with interest despite his or her best efforts to provide for a son or daughter.
Individuals who are unable to make child support payments in a timely manner are encouraged to communicate with state authorities as soon as possible. An attorney may be able to do so on a person’s behalf. Legal counsel may also be able to help a person convince a judge that his or her financial circumstances have changed since a child support order was first issued. This may result in a temporary or permanent reduction in support payments.