How to Avoid Adverse Court Actions When You Can’t Afford to Pay Child Support

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It is important to be proactive if you legitimately lose your job and cannot pay child support. In Michigan, once you get several months behind in child support payments, the Friend of the Court may initiate enforcement actions against you. Such actions may include freezing your professional license or hunting license and seizing other assets like your tax return refund or other accounts. The Court may also issue a bench warrant for your arrest.

If you find yourself in a tight financial spot for legitimate reasons beyond your control, immediately file a motion for downward modification of support. In the meantime, pay as much as you can pay but don’t pay nothing. The court wants to see that you are trying your best to pay support. Income may be imputed to you if you can’t show that you are trying to find a job and the court suspects that you lost your job intentionally. For example a Surgeon who quits to become a janitor just to spite his wife, may have an average Surgeon’s salary imputed to him. Modification of support is not retroactive, so if you wait to file a motion you still have to pay arrears at the original support rate.

If you are concerned about your ability to pay child support or are seeking to defend a motion for downward modification, call Attorney Diana Mohyi for a consultation.

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