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Child support in tough economic times

posted in Child Support

on Thursday, August 16, 2012.

Former couples in Connecticut may be finding themselves on bad terms, thanks in part to the economy. Many mothers and fathers that are supposed to be paying child support can no longer do so because they are either underemployed or unemployed. This has led to many former recipients of support feeling slighted by previous spouses, wondering what they can do to get the income that they need to provide for the children at the heart of this matter.

Some experts say that, legally, there is little that can be done. In some cases, parents choose to withhold visitation from the nonpaying individual or restrict certain aspects of that person’s parental relationship with her or his daughter or son. This should not be done, as custody matters are completely separate from support matters. Acting in such a manner can result in more time spent in court and more negative feelings built into the parenting relationship.

Be sure not to bad mouth a former partner or spouse in front of your child, even if she or he is unable to pay support. Some experts have said that these matters should be of no concern to the involved child. It is important for the child to come first in any interactions between the parents. This means working through this tough economic time and doing what you can to support yourself and your child, with or without the financial support that was once apparent.

If the relationship between parents is amicable, bartering with goods and services may alleviate some of the stress associated with a lack of support payments. Though this may not affect the legal amount of owed support, it can bring a sense of effort to the table that shows the nonpaying parent is still interested and concerned about the well-being of the child.

One legal option that is readily apparent for those that cannot pay involves petitioning the court for a reduction in support so that the payment that was determined when the paying parent had a full-time job does not continue to be unaffordable month after month.

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