3 Ways to Pay Back Child Support

If you've fallen into the deep, dark hole of back child support and are struggling to claw your way out, you may want to consider some of the options for catching up listed below. With the right information, you can pay back what you owe more quickly and make a better life for yourself.

File for Chapter Bankruptcy

While filing for bankruptcy may seem like an extreme move, this may be the only way out from beneath the crushing debt for some individuals who owe back child support.

When filing for bankruptcy, it's important to understand that child support will not be forgiven, whether you file chapter 7 or chapter 13. Both chapters have their own benefits, but for many, chapter 13 offers the best opportunity to pay the back support owed. When you file chapter 13, you'll work with the courts to set up payment plans for your debts, including any child support in arrears. The courts will consider your income, living expenses, and how much you have extra each month to pay towards your remaining debts. While you can certainly apply for bankruptcy by yourself, a bankruptcy attorney can help with the finer details and ensure you get the best possible outcome.  

Make an Arrangement with the Other Parent

While you can't have the full amount of your back child support excused, you may be able to work with your child's other parent and the courts to come to a favorable settlement for all.

When you request a child support settlement, it usually needs to be done with a lump sum. This means that your child's other parent will agree to waive a portion of the child support back payments you owe as long as you pay the rest of it up front. For example, if you're $10,000 in arrears, your ex may agree to accept $7,000 in a lump sum and waive the other $3,000. It's important to remember that these settlements need to be done through the courts and it's best to consult with a family law attorney before moving forward.

Request Child Support Payment Adjustment

While the child support you owe cannot be retroactively reduced, smaller payments in the present mean you can put more money towards the child support in arrears.

If you're struggling to make child support payments as well as payments for your arrears, consider petitioning for a reduction in child support. While this petition isn't always granted, especially if the custodial parent is already struggling to support your child, it's worth a try. Even a $50 reduction each month means you'll have $50 more to put towards your back child-support payments, which will help you to catch up more quickly.

To learn more about paying back your back child support as painlessly as possible, find an establishment specializing in family law, such as Karp Law Offices.