When you are finished with the legal divorce process, you leave your marriage behind. Still, you have some obligations according to the divorce agreement. If you have mutual children, who stayed with your ex, you are definitely assigned to pay child support apart from performing custodial responsibilities. More to this, concerning the income of both divorcees, role in marriage, financial and physical abilities, you may also be entitled to pay spousal support to your partner.
Due to certain circumstances, it often happens that a person cannot afford to pay support to any of the support recipients. The last thing to do is just to avoid payments and hope to be left unnoticed or try to bargain with your ex not officially. This way you may end up paying off large penalties or even going to prison. So, the very first moment you realize that you face financial hurdles and cannot cover the support anymore, get professional help and try to fix the issues legally and peacefully.
Study the Documents
Either you file divorce online or do all the paperwork with your hands, you will receive several copies of the final documents both online and in paper form. The final document which is the Divorce Judgement prescribes all the regulations of relationships between divorcees, their children, assets and so on.
Maybe it is an obvious step, but the primary thing to do is to look carefully through the Judgement conditions and details. You can also get the professional advisor or ask your divorce attorney to get you through the necessary details. Look carefully through the sections which regulate the spousal and children support. You may find interesting details that let you either terminate or decrease the sum of monthly payments.
Anyway, you will review the conditions on which you have to perform the payments and your attorney can advise you what to do next.
Settle an Agreement Directly
If even the best divorce service cannot single out the condition in your Divorce Judgement which allows you not to support the recipient, you need to reach your ex directly to settle the question together.
There are many ways to handle the issue with your ex-partner. Start by explaining your situation and conditions that have changed your financial situation. Then offer to decrease the sum of monthly payment. If you are able to come to an agreement, announce your modification to the court and get it registered and added to your Divorce Judgement.
If you cannot succeed in persuading your ex-spouse personally, you are welcome to try alternative ways of settling the arguments. For example, a good mediator can help both divorcees to look at the situation with a cold head and find the best appropriate solution together.
Request for Post-Judgement Modification
Lacking the chances to find the way out without official processes taking place, you have to request for post-judgment modification. This will allow you to cope with the situation regarding the local law and jurisdiction process.
The first thing you need to be able to request for modification is to raise the documents which will prove the change of circumstances. Like you put in efforts in gathering the documents needed to file for divorce in Hawaii, do your best to come up with serious excuses for the inability to pay the support. Otherwise, you may be accused of fraud attempts and forced to pay the penalties or even go to prison.
The conditions which allow to modify the children or spousal support payments vary from state to state. Still, generally, they include the changes in income, unemployment, medical expenses or increased custodial needs from the recipient’s side. Mind, that temporal unemployment is not taken into account as a reason to terminate the support payment but may cause the recalculation which will be based on your previous income and chances to get a new job soon.
As soon as you provide all the necessary documents to the court, your case will be regulated according to the local law. Orders and modifications will be added to your Divorce Judgement and the copy will be sent to your ex. One thing you should also check is the date which will bring the modification in action so that you will pay properly according to the running regulations.
Lack of Actions Will Make It Worse
No matter what difficult life situation you are in, avoiding support payments is not the solution to your problem. It will only bring you multiple problems, such as penalties, court process, jail, and definitely spoilt reputation. The moment you face financial hurdles and realize you are not able to cover support payments, you should seek professional assistance and deal with the situation wisely and according to the law.
Greg Semmit has years of experience working with different types of legal documents and writing about Family Law for educational purposes. Currently, he is working at OnlineDivorcer company, where he writing blog articles about divorce and divorce cases. In his free time, he likes roaming the streets of New York with his Olympus taking photos of the best spots in the city.