Even if you've come to terms with making a monthly child support payment, your financial circumstances could change in the future. From losing your job to facing a serious illness that makes it impossible to work, your situation can change without notice.
- Don't delay: You're responsible for making child support payments until you receive a modification order from the court. The longer you wait to take action, the longer it will be before your payment is modified to something more reasonable.
- Learn more: There's more to a child support modification than telling the other parent that you can't make your regularly scheduled payments. You must understand the laws in place, as well as the process you're required to follow.
- Talk to the other parent: It's a difficult conversation to have, but talk to the other parent about your situation and the possibility of a modification. If they agree, it's much more likely that the court will follow suit.
- Don't miss payments: Do whatever you can to stay current on payments, as you don't want these to pile up. As noted above, you're responsible for all payments until you receive a modification.
- Document your financial change: The court wants proof that you're unable to make your child support payments as required. The type of proof that you share is based on your reason for wanting a modification. For example, if you've lost your job, share your termination letter and copy of your unemployment checks with the court.
Also, keep in mind that your modified child support payment may not remain in effect indefinitely. Sticking with the job loss example, once you land a new position you may find yourself owing the original amount once again.
It's important to make child support payments in full and on time, as the money helps to better provide for your child or children.
If you're struggling to make payments, don't hesitate to take the steps above. Doing so is the best way to protect your legal rights and financial interests.
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