If you are faced with a legitimate situation where you truly cannot afford your child support order, then you may want to consider modifying the child support order. This action can serve a couple of different purposes. First, it lets the Court know that you are in a position where the current child support order is not reasonable and you just simply cannot afford it. Second, it can reduce the child support amount to an dollar figure that you can actually pay.
If your case is being handled by the local county prosecutor’s Title IV-D child support office you should talk with your caseworker. By doing this your caseworker will know your current situation and may be willing to work with you to give you some time to find new employment, get out of jail, get your disability process started, etc.
Yes there is a difference. Not paying your child support because you are not working because of no fault of your own (laid off, disabled, etc) is vastly different then choosing not to pay your child support. In many courts the decision not to pay your child support doesn’t have to be an outright refusal to pay in order to be found in contempt of court. For instance, if you had some money for whatever reason, but did not pay your child support and used the money on anything other than child support, you run a risk of being found in contempt.