Being incarcerated doesn't necessarily absolve you of the responsibility of paying child support. In fact, if you just stop sending the checks, you will have a huge debt waiting for you upon your release. Unfortunately, the reality is that many inmates find it difficult to make child support payments. Here are a few tips that can get you out of the quagmire:
Pay What You Can
For some people, being in prison doesn't mean that they lose all their sources of income. If you are still receiving some income, make it a point to pay child support to the best of your ability. For example, you can receive rental income, interest on stocks, or even retirement benefits while in prison. Take a portion of that money and use it for child support.
Apart from helping your kids, your payments (even if they are partial) will act as a "show of faith" if you decide to petition the court for child support negotiation. Remember you will need to convince the court that it is your inability, and not your unwillingness, that has made it difficult for you to stay current on your child support responsibilities.
File For a Child Support Modification
If you are sure you can't afford to make the payments, then you need to convince the court to modify them. As mentioned in the introduction, failure to get a modification or make full payments will leave you with a huge debt.
There are two forms of modifications that you can seek. First, you can ask the court to reduce the payments to levels you can pay. Secondly, you can ask the court to suspend the payments for the duration of your incarceration.
Educate Yourself on the Consequences of Not Paying
Being in debt isn't the only consequence of not paying child support. You aren't "safe" from these consequences even if you are serving a lengthy sentence. When you do come out, the accumulated debts can ruin your life and even send you back to jail. The following example will suffice.
Assume you are incarcerated for several years, but don't make an effort to modify or suspend the child support order. Upon your release, you have a debt of thousands of dollars, your credit is bad, you can't land a job, and you can't rent a house. It's a pathetic scenario indeed, but this is exactly what may be in store for you if you don't hire a child support attorney, such as those found at Ritter & LeClere APC Attorneys At Law, to help you straighten out the issues.Share