What Do I Do if My Ex Says They Can’t Afford Child Support Anymore?

child support

Separating from one’s partner is a stressful situation to navigate, especially when you have a child together. During this transition, ensuring your child’s welfare should be top priority. But what do you do when the other parent stops paying you, the custodial parent, child support?

At the Law Office of Nicholas T. Exarhakis, we are experienced in handling child support cases and are committed to protecting the rights and needs of our clients. We will assist you by first reviewing the Maryland Child Support Guidelines to determine the total child support obligation between you and your ex-partner. Child support payments help cover costs relating to a child’s food, clothing, shelter, medical expenses, and education.

It is your child’s right to have these basic needs met so that they can thrive. Our firm is ready to provide you with sufficient time and personal attention to ensure that we understand every facet of your case. We value your time and promise that when you retain the representation of our legal professionals, we will research your case and advise you on the legal options available to you. We have encountered a plethora of situations relating to child support discrepancies and are ready to guide you toward the right path.

Job Loss

Unfortunately, many people are losing jobs due to the coronavirus health crisis. According to Maryland law, a noncustodial parent who has lost employment is still required to make child support payments.

If the noncustodial parent is receiving unemployment compensation, child support can be deducted from it, even automatically.

If the noncustodial parent is not receiving unemployment compensation, they have the right to file a motion to adjust their payments according to their new financial situation.

Filed for Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy does not eliminate the responsibility to pay child support as it is considered a special sort of debt, falling in the same category as alimony and student loans. If the noncustodial parent files bankruptcy, we will help you navigate the process. In cases of bankruptcy, courts appoint a trustee who is responsible for liquidation of assets, and that includes child support payments.


We have seen cases where the noncustodial parent is hiding from the custodial parent to evade child support obligations. In circumstances like this, the noncustodial parent can face several possible repercussions including having their wages automatically withheld, driver’s license suspended, tax returns collected, passport denied, and having property liens enforced.

A lien is a type of a public record associated with one’s property, indicating that the owner of the property owes a creditor money. If your child’s noncustodial parent’s property liens are enforced, this means they cannot sell the property until they pay their respective debt in full.

Sometimes, the nonpaying parent can even be ordered to court for contempt for failure to comply with a decree for child support. If the nonpaying parent has the money but is choosing not to pay, they can be sent to prison. As a rule, individuals cannot be imprisoned for debt—but there is an exception when it comes to failure to pay child support.

We Are Here to Demystify the Process

We understand that this information and the situation you find yourself in may feel daunting. Trust that our legal team is willing and available to simplify the process as much as possible for you. We believe that your child is entitled to receive the support he or she deserves, and we are dedicated to the pursuit of justice on your behalf.

For legal counsel, contact our team online at annapolisdivorce.com or call us at (410) 593-0040.

Related Posts
  • Can I Stop Paying Child Support if My Ex Won’t Let Me See My Kids? Read More
  • Impact of COVID-19 on Child Support Read More
  • Can Parents Stop Paying Child Support for These Reasons? Read More