Even if paying child support is taking a toll on your finances, you can always take comfort in knowing that the money is giving your child or children a better life. However, if you come to find that you can no longer afford your child support payments, it's time to consider your legal rights.
Although there's no guarantee, you have the right to request a child support modification. If you're interested in doing so, here are the steps you should take:
- Take immediate action: The court expects you to make your child support payments in full until you receive word of a modification. So, it makes sense to take immediate action, as you don't want to dig a deeper hole with missed payments.
- Talk to the other parent: The other parent may sympathize with your situation, thus agreeing to a modified payment for the time being. The court still has to give its final approval, but having the other parent on your side is a big boost.
- Don't miss payments: Just because you're hoping to get a child support modification doesn't mean it will be granted. You should continue to make payments as best as you can, even if you can't do so in full.
- Prove that you can't afford your payment: The court isn't going to take your word for it. You need to document your change in circumstances to prove that a modification is necessary. Common reasons for requesting a child support modification include a job loss, reduction in pay and a medical emergency.
- File your request: You should file your child support modification request with the same court that originally ordered you to pay. The more documentation you can provide, such as anything that proves your change in circumstances, the better off you will be.
You'll never know if you qualify for a child support modification until you learn more and begin to move through the process.
As you collect additional information, you'll better understand what's expected of you and how to put yourself in the best position to receive a modification.
If you're seeking additional information and guidance on modifications associated with divorce and child support, visit our website and blog.