Divorce is a frustrating, often expensive experience. One of the biggest expenses is often child support and spousal support. During the initial phase of divorce, legal separation, one spouse typically files for divorce and requests a temporary custody and support order. That often means that the person who doesn't file is suddenly relegated to weekend visits with their children, while being expected to pay a substantial amount for their care and upkeep.
It can be a frustrating experience, making it little surprise that custody and support levels are often the most hotly contested aspects of a divorce agreement.
A temporary support order is still a court order
Because it is based solely on the filing of one individual, a temporary custody and support order may seem one-sided or unfair. Typically, however, the determination of the amount to be paid is incredibly formulaic, with amounts determined based on the amount of custodial time, if any, as well as the number of children and the income of both divorcing parties.
Regardless of whether or not you believe the amount is appropriate or the custody agreement will be changed, it is critical that you comply with the support order and render your child support payments via the appropriate forum and in a timely manner.
Unpaid child support can cause legal issues
Many states regularly audit their child support records and may go so far as to issue bench warrants for noncompliance and failure to pay child support as ordered by the courts. Don't risk facing the humiliation of an unnecessary arrest or the possibility of your paycheck being garnished by the state to make up previously unpaid support. Paying on time, via the courts, is the best way to protect your reputation and your freedom until you can have the amount reconsidered and possibly adjusted.
Seek experienced legal help to adjust support
You can't just ask for your support level to be adjusted if there's a reason to believe it's been set to an amount that is too high or inappropriate. Your attorney will have to request a hearing and present documentation and other evidence regarding income, parenting time, and other factors that could influence the court's opinion on the amount of support required. Until that time, you should be paying the ordered amount of support in full.
This prevents any legal issues from noncompliance and can help support your claim to custody during the divorce proceedings, as you've established a desire and ability to provide for your children.
An attorney will advocate for your best outcome
It can be difficult to articulately present your case during a divorce. Emotions are high, and everything feels personal. Even if your soon-to-be ex-spouse hasn't retained an attorney, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced divorce attorney. Not only can they advocate on your behalf if support adjustments are needed, they can calmly and accurately present your case for full or partial custody to the courts during your actual divorce.
Don't leave your financial future to chance! Work with an experienced Alaskan divorce attorney who can advocate for your best possible divorce outcome.