What to do if I was ordered to pay child support when I was not employed at the time, but agreed to pay more then the state required?

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What to do if I was ordered to pay child support when I was not employed at the time, but agreed to pay more then the state required?

I have not had a full-time job since and am now behind in my child support and have to go back to court. Do you recommend that I have a lawyer when I go back, or just explain the circumstances to the judge? Also, my license has been suspended.

Asked on December 26, 2012 under Family Law, Minnesota

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You have a couple of different issues listed:

First-- you're stuck with your current level of child support until it's modified.  You cannot get your child support modified retroactively.  So, you're left with asking the court to modify going forward.

Second-- you can show up to court on your own, but it really does help if you can have an attorney to help you.  If you don't have an attorney, take whatever verification you have of your unemployment and efforts to obtain employment.  For example, if you have been applying and receiving unemployment benefits-- take copies of those.  If you have been doing regular job searches, take a log of those searches and number of applications you have submitted.  You can also ask the judge to grant you a hardship license-- since not have a license can impact your ability to find gainful employment.  The main thing is to arrive prepared.  The judge will be more likely to believe you if you have verification of what you have described.


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