Common Child Support Mistakes to Avoid
In any divorce case where there are minors, parents have to agree or accept a court’s decision on child support. Sometimes, before reaching this agreement, there are usually heart-wrenching and emotional disputes between both parties. With this stress, it’s common for parents to make a wrong move.
It’s also not difficult to make mistakes due to several misconceptions about how the child support system works. So, even after a divorce, a parent may still make mistakes. Many of these mistakes occur when parents don’t hire child support lawyers West Chester PA. However, here are some of the typical child support mistakes you should avoid.
Hiding or Lying About Your Income
During divorce cases, spouses hide their income to avoid not only alimony but also child support. Even in child support cases involving single parents, lying about or hiding income is quite common. The court may give you a fine, and you may pay arrears if it discovers that you lied about your income.
Not Having a Legal Representative
While it’s true that individuals can represent themselves in court, it might not be a great idea, especially for child support cases. Pennsylvania uses a child support guideline for calculating payments, which might be complex to understand without legal help. Having child support lawyers in West Chester, PA, can ensure you pay or get fair amounts.
Paying Outside the Court-approved Methods
Pennsylvania courts have streamlined methods for collecting child support payments. These methods may seem inconvenient, and many parents end up paying directly to the parent with custody. If a dispute arises later, the custodial parent might claim that the payments were a gift and not for child support.
Despite how unnerving you think it is, you should follow the approved payment system for your benefit.
Quitting Your Job and Not Getting a New One
It’s a mistake to quit your job and refuse to get a new one to finance your child support obligation. Child support is a priority payment that a reduced wage, job loss, or even bankruptcy can’t stop. If you quit your job, you might run into difficulties meeting up with your responsibility.
Missing Child Support Payment
Similar to quitting your job, missing child support payments is a terrible idea. You may receive fines for this act, and still make the missed payment in arrears. If financial challenges make you unable to meet up with your obligation, it’s advisable to file a modification of child support order.
Paying Past the Age of Maturity
One big misconception people have is that child support payments automatically end when the child gets to 18. While it lawfully ends at the age of maturity, courts are too busy to track termination dates of each child support order. As such, the automatic deduction of these child support payments won’t stop.
Some parents end up paying more in child support than they should. Bear in mind that these payments may be non-refundable. It’s best to request a modification of the support order, a few months before your child attains the age of maturity.
Parents often make mistakes regarding child support, both during and after a divorce process. As parents, it’s advisable to hire child support lawyers in West Chester, PA, rather than represent yourselves in court. An attorney can help you understand how the child support system works to avoid errors.