Failing to pay child support can be a problem for some parents in New York and around the country. Only about 60% of the child support due in 2015 was paid. However, not making child support payments is not always deliberate. In some cases, parents may fall behind because they are unable to afford the payments.

This was the case for one woman who moved out of state with her three children. She was supporting another child who was in college and paying child support for yet another child. The out-of-state move meant that the court did not take other circumstances into account, such as the other children she was caring for, and set a maximum payment amount. The woman was disabled and unable to work, but she still owed the support.

Parents who find themselves in a situation where they cannot keep up with support payments may want to try to seek a modification. First, they should get in touch with the child support office in the state that issued the order. Next, they can file a request to have support modified. The legal system recognizes that circumstances may change, and the child support amount may be altered as a result. The court may consider situations that include medical expenses, unemployment, income changes or additional costs related to the child as valid reasons for a modification.

Divorce can be a difficult process. It can leave people less financially stable than they were while married, and this can make child support critical for the custodial parent but hard to pay for the other parent. The legal system may assist in collecting child support from parents who are not paying it and adjusting child support for parents who cannot pay. Unpaid child support generally does not mean that the custodial parent can keep the children away from the other parent.