Q: Court coming up and I’ve been struggling to pay my child support over the years from losing job or can’t hold on to it.
Court contempt. I have struggle with hdhd and stuff going up and I don’t know what to do in this pandemic. What should I do?
A: There is a financial statement form you can either download from the circuit court website from the family law forms, or pick up from the courthouse. There is a short and a long form version. I suggest the long form if you can manage it. Download the instructions for how to fill it out as well (they explain how to take all your annual expense totals in the various categories and divide them by 12 to arrive at your monthly average expenses). Fill one or both out, gather your wage/income information (pay stubs, etc.), show evidence of unemployment periods if any, have backup information to prove your major monthly expenses (rent, car payment, food, utilities, etc.), show any major debts, and if applicable, file for a modification of child support based on your income and that of the other parent's income (e.g., if yours has gone down and theirs has gone up since the last child support order was entered). Show what you have in your bank account for the past six months with your bank statements. You need to demonstrate with evidence what your financial condition and situation is, so the judge can determine (1) whether you failure to pay is wilful and intentional; (2) whether you have the means to pay what has been ordered or not; and (3) whether a modification is appropriate (but you cannot get a modification unless you file a motion actually requsting that relief).
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