As the breadwinner of your family, divorce is particularly complicated, both legally and financially. You may be on the hook for paying child support. Divorce is expensive and complex in general, but with the addition of monthly payments, it can be overwhelming.
There are plenty of misconceptions about child support. The emotions associated with divorce can also cloud your judgment. All of this may lead you to make costly mistakes. Here are some major child support errors to avoid during and after the divorce.
1. Being vengeful
While you may have anger towards your ex, seeking revenge and being nasty is counterproductive in virtually every aspect of a divorce, including child support. If you send furious messages to your ex, disparage her in person or talk badly about her to your children, you only hurt yourself. When your ex is able to paint you in a negative light, she may have more leverage in getting more money out of you. Be as cordial, decent and calm as possible.
2. Making informal payments
You may not want to deal with the official child support system, but it is vital. Do not assume you can come to an agreement with your ex in a casual way. The best thing to do for clarity and legal protection is to make official payments through the instructions in the child support order.
3. Failing to seek a modification
Not all child support orders will be feasible years after they are made. What you pay initially may not make sense as you and/or your ex encounter changes in your life. If you lose your job or your ex starts cohabitating with someone, you may be able to petition the court to modify your payments. You have the right to ask the court to reduce or terminate as long as you have legal grounds for it. Whatever you do, do not reduce or stop payments until you obtain a new decision from the court.