These days, the nuclear family sometimes feels like little more than a myth that we occasionally witness on reruns of classic TV sitcoms. United States Census data indicates that, while 40 percent of 1970 families consisted of two married parents living with children, this arrangement comprised just 19 percent of homes as of 2013. These changes impact not only multi-person households, but also the increasing number of single-person households, several of which involve divorced or otherwise estranged parents. Economic concerns can be considerable for all parents involved; those charged with paying child support may struggle to cover these obligations, especially if their kids reside with different parents. Below, we offer valuable advice for handling steep child support bills:

Reassess Your Budget

If you currently lack physical custody, you may have the capacity to downsize your lifestyle. This is probably not an option for your exes, who still need ample space and resources to raise your children. Take a close look at your budget and determine whether you can realistically cut back for the good of your children. For example, it may be possible to move into a smaller apartment.

Negotiate With Your Ex

Is your ex in a position to handle a greater share of childcare expenses? Are there any trade-offs you could make to secure a lower monthly payment? Be willing to compromise. If you’ve upheld your parental responsibilities since filing for divorce, one or both exes may grant you some leeway as you seek a workable financial solution.

 

Seek Court-Based Modification When Absolutely Necessary

Depending on your financial situation, you may be eligible for a court-based modification of child support. There are no guarantees, of course, but unexpected situations such as job loss or severe medical issues could at least temporarily reduce your financial burden.

Does your child support situation feel hopelessly complex? Consider weathering the storm with help from the Brown Law Offices. We can help you arrive at a support solution that is ideal for both you and your children.

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Photo of Jason C. Brown Jason C. Brown

“I used to handle commercial litigation downtown, but it wasn’t very fulfilling. As Minnesota family law attorneys we have the privilege of helping people during one of the most challenging times they will face. This stuff really matters to our clients – and…

“I used to handle commercial litigation downtown, but it wasn’t very fulfilling. As Minnesota family law attorneys we have the privilege of helping people during one of the most challenging times they will face. This stuff really matters to our clients – and to us. We take pride in helping people move forward with their lives.”

Jason founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. He has received national media attention for his work in the area of divorce and family law.

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A., after clerking for the (now retired) Chief Judge of Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. He is an experienced trial lawyer, who handled a wide variety of cases (including civil commitment, criminal defense, probate, personal injury and commercial litigation) early in his career.

Today, Jason’s practice is dedicated exclusively to divorce and family law matters. He has successfully litigated against some of the more recognized family law attorneys in the Twin Cities. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, and one of the Top 100 Family Law Attorneys in Minnesota by the Society of Legal Advocates.

Jason is the former chairperson of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota Trial Lawyer’s Association, and taught divorce and family law coursework within the paralegal program at North Hennepin Community College. He publishes the Minnesota Family Law Blog, which has been recognized as a “Top 25″ by the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Local media appearances by Jason include WCCO Radio, KARE 11 Television, Fox 9 Television and WCCO Television. His national media appearances include NBC News, Time Magazine, USA Today and the Huffington Post.

Jason obtained his B.S., magna cum laude, from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and his J.D., cum laude, from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. While in law school Jason was a published staff writer and associate editor for the William Mitchell Law Review.

In addition to his work as a lawyer, Jason serves as a mediator, and court-appointed early neutral evaluator, in divorce and family law cases throughout Minnesota.

Outside of the office, Jason plays the bass guitar and serves on the Board of Directors at Northgate Church. He and his wife, Cynthia, also an attorney, have two boys.