Stress and Child Support

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If you receive child support, you may be one of many who do not receive child support regularly – even if you use the Family Support Center for payments, even if you have a garnishment order. Inconsistency in receiving support creates a great deal of financial anxiety for many single parents, and we came across an interesting article that offers suggestions on how to take some of the stress out of this financial uncertainty.

First, review your monthly budget and see how close you can come to a “just getting by” expense plan. While not at all ideal, and perhaps not even feasible, it will make your spending priorities clear and give you a sense of your absolute minimums for caring for yourself and your children. You may discover you can free up certain expenses that otherwise keep you on pins and needles in between child support payments.

Second, try not to focus so much on whether the ex has paid or how much. While not the easiest task, doing so will help give you some peace of mind and keep you from spending so much negative energy worrying about what the other parent is not doing. It can be hard to see all the other aspects of your life and its possibilities if you are consumed with one pursuit.

Third, devote more time to what makes you happy, the simpler things. Take stock of your children and how lucky you are to be part of their lives. Children can live at many economic levels, but not so easily at different levels of love and attention.

Fourth, find support in relationships with others that get you out of the narrow focus of child support and into new areas that get you looking forward rather than backward or stuck in neutral.

If you follow these tips, you will find yourself worrying less about the person who owes you support and more about your own life, your family, your friends, your future. And as you live more frugally and find you can pay bills independently, you get more confidence and think differently about finances.

These changes cannot cure a dire financial situation; that only you and your attorney can accomplish. But even in difficult times, refocusing the mind can work wonders for your sanity and your bottom line.

If you have questions about child support, contact us – we can help.

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