If you’re required by law to pay child support, you know how important it is to stay current with your payments. You need to pay in full and on time every month, without fail. If you slip behind, it will eventually lead to trouble, not to mention the many ways that it can negatively impact your child.

If you come to realize that you are unable to make your child support payments, you can’t take matters into your own hands. Instead, you need to learn more about requesting a modification of your support order.

Here are five steps to take:

  • Take immediate action. Once you realize you are unable to pay your child support in full, you can weigh your options. You can’t sit around and hope that you come into money, as you need to stay current with your payments.
  • Learn more about your legal rights. There are circumstances when you can request and receive a child support modification. There are also times when this isn’t going to happen. You need to know what the court will consider when making a final determination.
  • Speak to the other parent about the potential modification. Your ex may be more understanding than you would imagine, depending on your situation. This could make it much easier to receive a formal modification from the court.
  • Stay current to the best of your ability. Even if you can’t pay in full, you should do your best to send as much money as possible. You don’t want to get so far behind that you find it almost impossible to catch up.
  • Be prepared to offer evidence of your need for a modification. You must have a good reason for filing for a modification, such as a job loss or a serious illness that is keeping you from working. The more documentation you are able to offer, the better your chances of success.

These are the five most important steps to take if you require a child support modification. You have legal rights as someone who is paying child support, and you need to do whatever it takes to protect them. You hope that you’re always able to pay in full, but you also know that something could happen that makes this difficult. In that case, you need to take action as to protect yourself.