According to the Florida Department of Revenue, the bad economy is creating especially hard times for those paying child support. They report that the number of requests for modified child support payments has increased, mirroring the state’s rising unemployment rate. Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties (Florida) have already received 831 requests this year, compared to 648 in 2006. Requests haven’t been this high since Hurricane Ivan.
Many of the applicants are reporting that they can’t find work, or that the work they can find pays a lot less than their former employment. Others are giving up looking for work altogether, some living on food stamps welfare, while still others are going back to school to improve their chances for higher paying work. The court looks favorably on payers who seek out more education, because in the long term it will have a positive effect on the children. Unfortunately, while they are in school they usually have to lower their child support payments during that time.
Requests for lowered payments aren’t the only thing increasing along with the unemployment rate; uncollected child support is climbing as well. Almost $29 million has gone uncollected in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties this year, and there’s still one month to go before the end of the year. The number of disputes that lead to litigation are climbing as well, as people become more desperate.
If you believe you will not be able to continue making child support payments as required, it is important to file for a modification to your child support responsibility as soon as possible. Contact our firm for expert legal counsel.
You can find out more about the effects of the economy on child support payments in Florida at Economy hits Pensacola area child support.