What Should I Do If I’m Incarcerated and Owe Child Support?
A parent with a child support order must pay the amount decreed. If they cannot, for example, if they are in jail, the obligation to pay child support does not automatically stop.
There’s an action required from them to get the court to cease or change the order.
How to Stop a Child Support Order During Incarceration
A person obligated to pay child support but is about to be incarcerated needs to inform the family court of the situation and ask for their obligation to be changed.
They can do this by requesting a review and adjustment of their order. The court will then determine if they are eligible for a child support modification.
If eligible, the family court will stop the child support order during the period of incarceration when the parent is unable to pay.
What Happens if a Modification is Not Filed in Court?
A request to modify a child support order needs to be filed with the family court before incarceration.
If this is not done, the obligation to pay child support will continue to exist and add up. Not to mention that the unpaid amount will accumulate interest for the whole period of non-payment.
There is no relief available to retroactively modify a child support order after non-payment. This means that if a request for modification is not filed with the family court before incarceration, they will not be able to ask the court to cancel out the obligation during the time of the sentence.
If possible, it’s recommended that a parent who’s about to be incarcerated works with an attorney who can help them fill in the paperwork and navigate the court process. This will ensure that they get their order stopped during the time they have no ability to pay child support.