Depending on various reasons, such as fluctuations in the economy, substantial changes like an increase or decrease in a person’s income can happen to anyone. Particularly when it comes to a decrease in income, such a change can directly impact a parent’s ability meet child support obligations.

Michigan residents familiar with the non-profit organization of unarmed citizen crime patrols, Guardian Angels, may find it interesting to learn that organization founder Curtis Sliwa, who once made over half a million dollars, reportedly is unable to meet his child support obligations. According to reports, following his separation from his wife in 2010 he agreed to pay nearly $13,000 in child support to her for their son. Additionally, despite currently living with his girlfriend and their two children, he signed a support agreement wherein he agreed to pay his girlfriend approximately $20,000 per month in child support. However, in a recent support hearing, Sliwa testified that he is unable to meet his child support obligations to his ex-wife because his income has been substantially reduced to $200,000 a year. Furthermore, he testified that has he no assets, no savings and owes his attorneys over $50,000.

Clearly, as this case illustrates, a substantial decrease in income can impede a parent’s ability to meet child support obligations. In such cases, it may help for the parent obligated to pay child support to explore legal options to avoid arrears, such as a child support modification. This type of action can help a paying parent avoid the negative consequences associated with failing to pay child support.

Source: New York Daily News, “Curtis Sliwa, Guardian Angels founder, testifies he can’t pay ex $13G a month,” Dareh Gregorian, Dec. 9, 2013