Transitioning to life as a single mom after a marriage ends is challenging enough, but it's even tougher when your ex is behind on his child support payments. When you rely on your ex meeting his financial obligations in order to provide for your child's needs, missing or late payments are incredibly frustrating. Here are three things to try when faced with an ex-husband who is behind on child support:
Try Talking to Your Ex
It's normal to feel anger when your ex-husband hasn't been making his court-required child support payments, but making an effort to calmly and rationally talk to him can actually benefit you directly. If you approach the topic in a warm and cooperative manner, perhaps stating that you know he is doing his best and would like to discuss your options together, he may be more willing to find ways to make payments.
Having a conversation can also give you a more accurate idea of what is going on in his life (losing a job, unexpected medical bills, etc.) and if he seems like he is honestly working toward making payments again soon. The more information you have, the easier it will be to come up with your own financial plan.
Consult with a Family Law Attorney
It is also a good idea to consult an experienced family law attorney. If your ex is uncooperative, you can't get ahold of him, or he promises to begin paying again but doesn't follow through, your lawyer will be your strongest ally. Family law attorneys can help guide you through the required steps to legally collect the money that is entitled to your children, whether it's through a collections agency, a civil suit, or wage garnishment.
Find Ways to Boost Your Own Income
In the meantime, it's a good idea to find ways to increase your own income to make up the difference. The process of getting your ex-husband to repay his back child support may take months or even longer, and in the meantime, your children's expenses do not get put on hold. This is a great time to ask your boss for that long overdue raise, apply for a better-paying position, or start a side gig when your child is sleeping or with your ex. You can babysit, drive for a ride-sharing service, or join a freelance writing site to make extra money.
By following these tips, you will proactively take control of an unfortunate situation and more effectively navigate your finances until your ex begins making payments again.