A major part of child custodial arrangements involves the financial support for the child. It is not uncommon for issues to arise when it comes to making and receiving child support payments. To help you understand your options when it come to child support payments, here are some situations that commonly occur and what can happen with each.
Adjustments During Extended Stays
Depending on the child support order, it is possible that the non-custodial parent will still have to make payments even if the child is staying an extended period of time with him or her. For instance, if the child spends two months during the summer with the non-custodial parent, the parent is still required to make child support payments.
Whether or not the court would be willing to make adjustments for the time spent with the non-custodial parent depends largely on the state's laws. Suspending the payments while the child is with the non-custodial parent might not be an option in your state. However, it might be possible to negotiate a decreased payment during that time period. A child custody attorney can help you understand your state's laws and what options are available to you.
Bankruptcy and Arrears
Child support is often listed as a debt on bankruptcy filings. However, a bankruptcy does not remove the obligation to pay owed child support or make future payments. Child support is considered to be a priority debt. Priority debts, such as child support and student loans, survive bankruptcy.
If the non-custodial parent is filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, he or she can have arrears and future payments factored into his or her repayment plan to avoid getting further behind on payments.
Arrears and Credit Reporting
If the non-custodial parent has failed to make child support payments consistently or at all, it is possible for the custodial parent to have the debt listed on his or her credit reports. Once it is on his or her credit report, obtaining new credit will be difficult and the non-custodial parent might be pushed to pay the funds owed.
To get child support payments listed on his or her credit report, a request must be filed with the local district attorney's child support division. Once the district attorney makes a request to the court and it is approved, the debt will be reported to all three major credit reporting agencies.
Consult with an attorney to further explore other child support payment-related issues that need to be considered.