Learn a few tips to successfully make all your child support payments from month to month.
While you might agree to pay child support when you and your spouse divorce in Pennsylvania, you may be unclear as to the best way to successfully pay for all you owe while taking care of your other financial obligations. Rather than risk falling behind on payments or depriving your child, learn how to successfully keep up with child support payments.
Restructure your current budget
One of the first things you should do is take a look at your current budget and income to decide what changes (if any) need to be made so you can take care of monthly child support payments. Look for ways you can be frugal with your current income, and see if there is any current monthly spending you might be able to either cut out or reduce to make your financial situation easier.
Document each payment
Just to be on the safe side and avoid any confusion in the future, set up support payments so that you have a clear and easily-documented way that both you and your ex-spouse can see that payments have been made. A bank-to-bank transfer is usually the way to go, but there are several payment apps you can use that you might find more convenient. Keep meticulous records of your payments, noting the time and date they are made, in case things go south in the future.
Stay on the right side of the law
It is not unusual for some parents who run into money problems to engage in illegal activity to keep up with child support payments. While the reasoning behind such a decision is centered on good intentions, you will not do yourself or your child any favors if you are arrested and sent to prison. Not only will you have a criminal record, which the court is sure to frown upon, but you will also have child support back payments to worry about once you are free.
Consider requesting a payment reduction
If you ever fall on hard financial times or think there is a good chance hard times are on the horizon, do not be afraid to reach out to your ex and the court to request a child support modification. Paying some child support is much better than not paying any at all, and there is no shame in asking for help when you need it; we all fall on hard times. Additionally, know that your current child support payment amount can be raised if you get a better job in the future, so be sure to keep that in mind.
Despite your best efforts, you may struggle to keep up with child support while living in Pennsylvania. If you ever do, or if you would like to see a change made to a child support agreement, be sure to contact a lawyer.