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I cant pay my child support. Im ill, depressed ect. I cant afford a lawyer. What can i do?

Hillsboro, MO |

I have not been able to pay my child support for the last year. Ive been ill, depressed ect. My only income has been ($200)2hundred dollars a month in Food Stamps. I now have filed for SocialSecurity Disability Benefits. I found a 'Writ Of Attachment' for Child Support, under my name on Casenet.com. I can not afford a Lawyer. What do i do?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. I would consider contacting a local court service to find a pro bono attorney or if they can direct you to a legal services company. I find that very often services such as Catholic Charities can supply attorneys in certain situations.

    Best of luck to you.

    I am not your attorney. I do not represent you. This response is submitted for informational purposes only. This is not legal advice, nor is it intended to be taken as such. Anyone considering the above referenced situation should always consult an attorney within the jurisdiction before taking any action based on this, or any other information


  2. Your obligation for child support continues in spite of your circumstances.
    However, you could be entitled to a significant reduction by filing an application to the court to modify the previous decree. For good cause, a judge can do this retroactively, or going back, to the date you asked for it, even if the order is not entered for months or a year later. So you should go back to casenet and browse for a domestic relations case that is involved with a Motion to Modify. You can identify them by the initials DR in some cases, but usually the case number will be followed by a dash and a number 1. That means it's the same case but has been reopened. If the you explain to the Clerk of the Court that you only want to see the file so you can get an example of what to say, they may let you look at someone else's Motion as an example. Your Motion must be notarized and you must pay the court the filing fee. They will help with the procedure but can not give you legal advice. Your Motion might be defective but it should get the clock running when you ask the judge later to make the change retroactive.

    And, as with the other advice, search out charities in your area that might provide free legal assistance. The Clerk of the Court may have some sources for you.

    This comment does not create an attorney-client relationship. The law and its application by the courts is constantly evolving and changing. This discussion is not to be taken as a definitive guide, and should not be relied upon to determine all fact situations. Each set of facts must be examined separately with the current case and statutory law analyzed and applied accordingly.

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