Non-custodial parent lost job; cannot pay the amount demanded by court ordered child support payments.

Asked almost 2 years ago - Chicago, IL

Is now working temporary jobs and was told by State of IL to pay as much as possible each month - at least $100 to show you are trying. the children live in another state. Has now been charged with contempt because of back pay and has a court date. What can the parent do to protect their rights? Parent does love the children and want to be a part of their lives and knows it is joint parental responsibility to help provide for them.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Brian Michael Radke

    Contributor Level 13

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . He needs to file a Motion to Modify Child Support based on "a substantial change in circumstances." The change of circumstance is the lost job. Child Support can only be modified to the date of "notice" of the filed Motion so it needs to be done as soon as possible. A lawyer can help get the amount reduced as much as possible. A small difference in the ordered monthly payment can add up to a substantial amount of money over time. Good luck.

    This response shall not be construed as specific legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship... more
  2. Judy A. Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to return to court ASSAP to seek an order reducing your child support payments. Child support will continue at the previously ordered rate unless and until an order reducing the amount is entered.

  3. Gary L. Schlesinger

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . so the non custodian should go to court to ask that the support be reduced.

    what rights does the ncp want to protect? there should be a visit order. if not, ask for one. if you want to be part of the lives of your children, if there is no work here, go move to the same town they are in, get a job and see them regularly.

  4. Luke D. Kazmar

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    4

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . No client can take law into their own hands and "self-reduce."

    What is necessary is a motion for reduction, based on substantial change in circumstances--the change would retroactive to date of filing, so speed is of the essence.

    Always wise policy to make utmost efforts to pay whatever amount is possible.

    The author provides the preceding information as a service to the public. Author's response, as stated above,... more
  5. Charles Shinkle Watson

    Contributor Level 15

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . I agree with everything that is been said by the other attorneys answering the question. However, you need to deal with the contempt citation. Your inability to pay will usually shield you from a finding of contempt, as your failure to pay was not willful. If you have already filed your petition to modify, you will be able to point to that. However, this is a complicated enough argument that I would not try and make it on your own. If you can't afford an attorney check with your local legal services agency. Check to see if you can find a pro bono attorney. And if you can't get an attorney to come with you to court, at least consult with one so that you have a better idea of what you need to say in do when you appear before the judge.
    GOOD LUCK!

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  6. Roger William Stelk

    Contributor Level 14

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A petition to modify child support should have been filed based on a substantial change in circumstances. Support will not be lowered without one.

  7. Wes Cowell

    Contributor Level 19

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Ditto.

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