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What to Do When You Can't Afford to Pay the Child Support You Owe


Caucasian mother comforting son
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This week, I received an E-mail from a concerned mom who is unable to pay the child support she owes. Here's what she had to say:

I am a parent who pays child support for one child and have three children at home to support and one in college. Because I live out of state, the court decided the maximum for me to pay and did not consider my other children.

I am currently disabled and have no income. Meanwhile, child support payments are still due, even while I am not able to work. How do I make it with little or no finances?

~Angela W.

Unfortunately, Angela is not alone in being a parent who owes child support and is unable to pay. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 7,256,000 custodial parents were due child support in 2003. However, only 3,290,000 (or 45.3%) received the full amount.

In many cases, such as Angela's, there is a change in circumstances that necessitates a modification of the child support order. Read the FAQ What to Do When You Can Not Afford to Pay the Child Support You Owe to learn more about changed circumstances and how to request the modification of a child support order.

Related: Finding Your Local Child Support Enforcement Office | Finding a Lawyer Online

Grall, Timothy S. "Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2003." Child Support Reports. Jul 2006. U.S. Census Bureau. 15 Nov. 2006 [http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p60-230.pdf].

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