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Obligor Related Legal Questions

An obligor is an individual who is legally obliged to make a payment or provide a benefit to another person. There are many different kinds of obligors and different laws that pertain to each of them. Listed below are a few questions they have answered by Experts on obligor-related issues.

If child support has been increased based on an obligor parent’s prior tax returns and if he/she loses his/her job, can child support payments be postponed till a new job is found?

Whenever there is a major change in a situation that can affect child support payments, the obligor can appeal to the court to adjust the payments. If there is difficulty in making payments owing to hardship, the obligor may be at an advantage when presenting the case but only a court can change the child support order.

Usually, a court may not suspend total payment but it can reduce the amount being paid temporarily and then call for a status hearing in about 60-90 days to make sure that the obligor is at least making an attempt to find a job.

It is almost impossible for a court to postpone or completely do away with the payments but if no motion is filed with the court, the current payments will accumulate and arrears will start building. Therefore, it is best for the obligor to file a motion straight away to help his/her case.

An obligor has to pay $120 in child support every week. He was released from jail some time ago but hasn’t made any payments. His arrears now amount to approximately $6000. What is the legal way to fight this?

Considering the fact that the obligor has gone to jail, there is possibly a Child Support Enforcement (CSE) action already pending against him. If the obligor is now working, the CSE could garnish his checks or even intercept his tax refund. If he refuses to work, he could go straight back to jail.

In this situation, the obligee may want let the CSE case remain open and the arrears accrue. If the obligor starts earning again, the obligee might have a very strong case against the obligor.

If an obligor chooses to remain unemployed or underemployed and lives with his fiancée who enables this, can he get his alimony and child support reduced?

In most cases, if the obligor is unemployed or underemployed by his own free will, the court will not relieve him of his obligations to pay alimony and child support

I am the father (and obligor) who is required to pay child support. I have not made the payments and I am being sued by my ex to get the remaining child support due to her along with some other payments. I have been living below the poverty line for the last 10-14 years while my ex hails from a wealthy family. Is there any way I can get out of paying the remaining child support that is due?

As an obligor, if you do not have the money to pay child support, you may be able to move for a modification, based on both your incomes, in the court that ordered you to make the payments. However, courts are usually not very receptive to issues like withholding child support payments and the decision, in most cases, is left entirely up to the judge.

Since obligors are bound by legal obligations, there can be serious consequences when they default on payments. That is why it is important to know what your rights are and what is expected of you as an obligor.
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