Regardless of whether you have to pay child support each month or will be receiving it, it’s going to have an effect on your budget.
But there’s certainly no denying that it will be more difficult to budget for paying child support rather than receive it, because obviously, it takes away from your monthly income.
Here are some tips on how to budget for paying child support:
1) Deduct It From Your Income
Unfortunately, any money that you have to pay for child support automatically needs to be deducted from your income, so don’t even count it as your income.
A good comparison here is taxes. Just as every cent that you have to pay in taxes needs to be deducted from your income, so does child support. Recognizing and accepting this new reality is important.
2) Pay Regularly
Fundamentally speaking, you will need to make your child support payments regularly. Assuming that it’s not garnished from your paychecks, you would be wise to set up a specific payment date each month to ensure that it is paid on time.
The best way to do this is either through the Office of Child Support Enforcement (there should be one in your area) or through your bank to have the money sent directly into the account of your ex-spouse.
3) Never Pay Nothing
What happens if you are not able to pay the full amount that you owe? Just as how you should always pay at least something when you pay your taxes, so you should do the same with child support payments as well.
Never pay nothing, because there are very harsh penalties for non-payment. For example, if you go a certain number of times without making any payments at all, you could end up incarcerated or have your driver’s license revoked.
You want to pay your share on time and in full, but if that’s not possible, pay as much as you can.
4) Consider A Child Support Payment Modification
What do you do if do to unfortunate financial problems you are unable to pay your child support bill?
As we just noted, always try to pay at least something and NEVER pay nothing. But if it becomes apparent to you that you will be unable to pay in full over the next few months, get into contact with your Office of Child Support Enforcement to request a modification to your child support payment.
You would also be wise to contact your ex-spouse about making a modification before you go directly to the authorities. The idea is that you can come to an agreement together for a temporary modification instead of making any modifications on your own without their knowledge.
In addition, even if your request for a modification is not granted, it will still be on record, meaning that it may be reconsidered at a later date.