Child support is usually set up to be fair to the parent paying but can become challenging if their life dramatically changes. These troubles can cause child support arrears, an intricate problem that can affect credit scores and much more unless it gets dismissed or waived by a court.
What Does Arrear Mean?
Arrear is a term that indicates that a payment is late and must be made as soon as possible. In a child support scenario, arrear payments can quickly pile up if the paying parent isn’t careful with dutiful payments. However, there are many situations in which a parent may go into arrear, including:
- Right after losing a job, when cash payments may be much harder to make
- After buying a new home or moving, when cash may also be in a low amount
- When trying to pay for medical expenses after a serious emergency
- During a recovery from a severe financial loss, such as a home burning down
Many well-meaning parents end up in arrear due to situations like these and many others. Unfortunately, debt is debt, and it has a way of piling up and causing more financial struggles for individuals who probably want to do what is suitable for their children and the other parent.
As a result, those with arrear payments must understand their rights and if anything can be done to get rid of these payments. While it isn’t always an option, there is a chance that arrear situations would be waived or dismissed when it is impacting the life of the paying parent.
It is essential to note that arrear payments will only be dismissed if the court decides it is in the child’s best interest, such as if it will be easier for the parent to continue making payments without worrying about arrear costs.
Can Arrear Scenarios Be Dismissed?
If you have child support payments in arrear and don’t think you can catch up, it may be time to get them dismissed. This process is never an easy one and will challenge you in many ways. Just a few steps you’re likely to take include how you must:
- Talk to the other parent about this process to get help and support during a challenging time
- Create a new payment agreement between your lawyers that removes your arrear costs
- File the agreement with the court to ensure that it is legal and entirely accepted
- Wait to see if the court approves this agreement and its new payment concepts
- Reapply if the court decides the arrangement is not appropriate for the child
- Follow what the court chooses and try to make payments on time
It is important to remember that your co-parent doesn’t have to take these steps with you. Some may refuse to rearrange your payment process and continue to demand arrear payments. This situation is often quite upsetting and may require applying directly to the state for help instead.
When you apply to the state, you need to gather more evidence that shows your financial struggles and take steps to prove that you cannot pay the arrear costs. It is tough to go through this process without the approval of the other parents, but it is worth it if you just cannot make your arrear payments.
Help is Available for a Challenging Situation
If you find that you cannot prepare this type of case independently and need help from a support team, don’t hesitate to contact a divorce or child support lawyer. These professionals will examine your case and figure out what can be done to help. This step is a smart option for those struggling with arrear bills.