Should I Hire A Utah Family Law Attorney If I Cannot Pay Child Support?

Should I Hire A Utah Family Law Attorney If I Cannot Pay Child Support?

When a marriage ends, many times children still need to be raised. Most times during divorce proceedings, arrangements are made for one party to pay child support to the spouse who has been given primary custody. However, in many cases child support payments are not made, prompting further legal action by the custodial spouse in an effort to collect the money. If you find yourself unable to make child support payments, hiring an attorney is often a smart decision.

While each case is different, many times the court can find a person who is behind in their child support payments in contempt of court and order them to appear in front of a judge. If this is the situation you find yourself facing, it’s best to not go it alone in court. An attorney will be able to work with you to gather evidence that could show the court your inability to make the agreed-upon payments, such as tax returns, paycheck stubs and other additional information. If this information is presented and the court agrees you are unable to make the current payments, an attorney can help negotiate a new payment agreement that is satisfactory to everyone.

If you choose to not hire an attorney, the results can be vastly different. For example, if you are unable to prove your inability to pay the court may impose certain restrictions on you. It could order your wages or unemployment benefits be garnished to make the payments, driver’s and other professional licenses could be revoked, liens could be placed against your property and future tax refunds could be taken to make the necessary payments.

When it becomes clear child support payments are going to be an issue, being proactive about it is usually the best approach. Otherwise, more legal trouble could mount. If you fail to appear in court after being ordered to do so, an arrest warrant could be issued or you may be found guilty of contempt of court. To make sure this does not occur, consult an attorney as early as possible to get advice on how to proceed.

Kelly Peterson
About the Author

Experienced Divorce Lawyer Kelly Peterson handles child custody, visitation, paternity, grandparent rights and mediation cases.

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*Child Welfare Law Specialist Nat’l Assoc. of Counsel for Children