When you first find that you're responsible for paying child support, you may have some concerns about your ability to stay current. However, once you settle in, you can work this into your budget and be proud of the fact that you're doing something to help better the life of your children.
As time goes by, your financial situation may change. For example, if you lose your job, your budget will be turned upside down. This may lead you to learn more about requesting a child support modification.
While there's no way to guarantee yourself of receiving a modification, there are tips you can follow to help your cause.
- Act now, not later: If you're unable to make child support payments, take immediate action toward obtaining a modification. You're on the hook for all the money you owe until the court grants a modification, so waiting will only make things worse.
- Talk to the other parent: It's not easy to do, but let them know what you're going through. If they agree to a modification, it's easier to receive approval from the court.
- Keep making payments: Even if you can't pay in full, continue to keep up to the best of your ability. Not only does this help avoid falling too far behind, but it also shows the court that you're trying to make things right.
- Collect evidence backing up your claim: You know that you're no longer able to pay the full amount of child support, but the court won't take your word for it. Document your change in circumstances so you have something concrete to show the court. This can be as simple as documentation showing that you were laid off.
- File your request: You can think about a child support modification as much as you want, but until you file the request with the court there is no way for a change to occur. File your modification request with the same court that issued the current order.
If you can no longer make your child support payments, despite your best efforts, take action to receive a modification. Knowing the steps to take and how to protect your legal rights will go a long way in helping you get what you want.