It’s a sign of the times: Divorced dads are having trouble making child support payments now more than ever. According to the Associated Press, the economic downturn has hit men harder than women – almost 10% of men are unemployed, compared to about 7% of women. That means a lot of divorced Dads are struggling to make their child support payments.
For example, one Dad mentioned in the article never had any problems making his monthly child support payment – until his business went under and he couldn’t find another job. Now, he lives with his parents – and they’re paying the child support for him. He’s not the only one who’s struggling: According to a survey of members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, almost 40% said they’ve seen an increase in the number of clients asking to lower their child support payments – mostly because they’ve lost their jobs or had their pay cut. If divorced Dads are struggling to make their payments, it can be tough on Moms, too – because a lot of them need that money to support their kids. For example, one Mom interviewed for the article said her child and spousal support payments dropped from $6,500 a month to $450 a month after her ex lost his job. She says if things haven’t improved by Christmas, she may move in with her parents.
However, there is some good news: The tough economy has actually made some divorced parents more willing to work together. For example, one mother mentioned in the article agreed to let her ex cut his child support payments in HALF because he was dealing with a pay cut. Because she did this, her ex has been more willing to pitch in when she needs help with something.
If you’re in this situation, know this – the economy or loss of a job are NOT automatically reasons to reduce your child support payments. Most judges want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to find a new job – or if you have to, sell things you own to keep the payments consistent. Why? They want to make sure the kids involved get the same level of support.