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  • Writer's pictureLaurie M. Wasserman

What to Do If You Cannot Afford to Pay Child Support

Important Legal Update: New Child Support Law Goes Into Effect October 1st, 2020. Learn more in our blog here.

Child support payments can be difficult to manage without the weight of a global pandemic like COVID-19. Now, with the U.S. unemployment rate at 14.7% in April and businesses slowly reopening, you may have found yourself unable to afford your regular child support payments. Fortunately, there are options for modifying your child support payments because of specific circumstances.

Here are some circumstances for when you can apply for child support modification:

  1. You lost your job because you were laid off.

  2. You lost your job indefinitely because you are furloughed.

  3. Your income has gone down by at least 25%.

In this current environment, it may be possible to modify your child support payments for a special situation other than the ones listed above. If your circumstances have changed significantly since your original child support court order, we encourage you to speak with your attorney about modifying your payments.

Can I make a verbal agreement with the other parent?

Verbal agreements are extremely risky. Even if the other parent verbally agrees to let you pay a lower rate of child support, they are still legally entitled to the original amount. They can choose to fight you in Court at a later date to receive those missed payments. A verbal agreement may be difficult to prove In Court.

Ultimately, child support modifications are only valid through a formal, legal agreement or court order. Failure to pay child support in full can result in several consequences, including losing your driver’s license and passport to going to jail. Please speak with your family law attorney to avoid these repercussions.

If you have questions about child support, please email Laurie Wasserman at or call our main number 410-842-1070. For the foreseeable future, we will be available by telephone and virtually to serve our clients.


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