A digital news source, WIVB, recently reported on a situation involving a parent that failed to pay child support for about a decade and a half. The total unpaid sum added up to approximately $90,000 over the years. Those payments caught up to him this week when he was sentenced to six months in a federal prison based upon the failure to pay.

A story such as this one can either frighten an individual or give someone a feeling of control depending on which side of the issue he or she is facing. The truth is that unpaid child support, while not always on this level, is a common issue facing many parents. The parents land on both side of the issue, and there isn’t always negative intent behind the failure to pay.

There are relief options for parents that find themselves in either situation. These legal relief options differ based on the individual circumstances of a case and certainly the jurisdiction in which the support order was issued.

For those that are facing the inability to make a court-ordered payment, the issue can be addressed before it ever gets to the level of police involvement. When an obligor’s circumstances have substantially changed, in Dallas, the individual can work with an attorney to request a modification of the order.

In some cases, two parents may share an understanding of the situation and agree to a lesser amount. Caution! A verbal agreement is NOT enforceable in court.

For those that are faced with a situation in which the other parent hasn’t met their obligation, there are a variety of legal relief options. The non-paying parent often relies on these payments, and it is important to remember that the support agreement is an order that can be enforced in court.

In either situation, a Dallas family law attorney is where DFW parents should turn when a problem arises.

Source: WIVB, “Man going to jail over failure to pay child support,” April 2, 2014