Child support obligations in Louisiana

One tremendous problem Louisiana child support obligations and debts owed to the other parent of the child for child support is the problem when the facts change such that they would likely require the child support to change yet the parent who is entitled to either a reduction or increase does not move a court in Louisiana for such an increase.  Louisiana law provides that child support may be modified “if the circumstances of the child or either child materially change.”  The problem with not making a change timely and then perhaps falling into arrears there is in fact a court judgment making it so that child support is owed at a certain amount.  It is possible then that this child support may be used to garnish the wages of that parent, to put that parent in jail, to hold that parent in contempt, and/or to increase the child support award amount owed through legal interests and attorney’s fees necessary to enforce the award. In short, without due diligence in the modification of a child support award and simply allowing arrears to accrue without requesting in a court that this be modified may lead to a situation for a parent that is unsustainable and dire.  In fact, it can be very difficult if not impossible to get out of such a situation.  Absent the consent of the parent to whom the child support arrears are owed.  It is quite often the case that such consent may be very difficult to obtain and frankly it would seem a poor choice to rely on this parent’s ability to forgive the obligor parent’s debts. To use an example, let us say that Charles and Suzy were never married, though they have two children together who are both in their teens yet have not yet reached the age of majority.  When they went to court to establish child custody and visitation along with child support Charles was ordered to pay child support according to his income, Suzy’s income, together with the needs of their two children seven hundred and twenty five dollars a month.  Unfortunately, Charles quit his job for two years to travel the world.  During this time, Charles was destitute and a very difficult time simply meeting his own needs of sustenance and housing.   After returning to his former work, he was employed at a lower wage than he had when he went to court and child support was established. Unfortunately, Charles had never filed anything with a court to reduce his child support obligation to Suzy for their two children.   As a result of his absence and lower wage earnings, and the fact that he did not go back to court to readjust his child support, Charles is now greatly indebted to Suzy for arrears.  Long story short, Charles is now in a very tough position that could to lead to consequences to those listed above such as interest on the amount of child support owed, contempt of court and even being sent to jail, provided that Suzy or other prosecutor decides to bring such an action to enforce the original award.