For some parents in Kentucky, keeping up with court-mandated child support payments may seem impossible. While the payments are meant to provide children with the funds they need to live a full life, the support order is generally based on a formula tied to the parents' income. However, in some cases, parents' financial situations change dramatically after the original support order is issued. While a formula is used to calculate that initial order, there is no automatic recalculation based on financial changes. Therefore, some parents may be struggling to make ends meet and find themselves facing child support debt.
In these cases, the parents who are not meeting their child support obligations aren't careless or deadbeats; instead, they are simply unable to handle their full payments each month. When child support debt racks up, the penalties can be significant and include loss of driving privileges, fines or even jail time. However, there are options for people facing child support burdens that are too high to bear. Parents can return to family court to request a child support modification based on changes to their circumstances.
Some of the changed circumstances that could lead to a child support modification being granted include unemployment, changes in income, disability or medical expenses. In other circumstances, a child support modification order could be granted to raise support payments if there are additional costs associated with the child's needs. While many people may reach an informal oral agreement to lower their support payments, it can be important to have the order formalized in court in case of any future issues.
Parents who are unable to pay their child support obligations may find themselves facing mounting debt. A family law attorney could work with a parent to seek a child support modification, which may prevent further penalties or punitive sanctions.