If a court orders you to make child support payments, it’s in your best interest to do so in full and on time. Neglecting to do so can result in trouble that you don’t need in your life, such as a wage garnishment.
However, there could come a point when you’re no longer able to afford your child support payments. This is a difficult position, as you want to make payments to support your children, but your finances no longer allow you to do so.
Here are the steps you can take if you’re interested in a modification:
- Keep making payments: Even if things have drastically changed with your finances, continue to make payments in full for as long as you can. The law requires you to do so until you receive a modification.
- Talk to the other parent: Your ex doesn’t have the legal authority to grant you a child support modification. But if they agree to it, it’s much easier to get the court to do the same.
- Document your financial change in circumstances: You need a reason to request a child support modification. Without this, you shouldn’t expect to get what you want. Document your change in circumstances, such as if you lost your job or have a serious illness that’s preventing you from working.
- File your request: The final step in the process if filing your modification request with the court that issued your original order. At this point, you should have everything you need to convince the court that a modification is necessary. As long as you provide proof that you can’t make future payments in full, you have a good chance of obtaining an approval to pay a lesser amount.
If you can’t afford your child support payments, don’t make the mistake of simply stopping. You’ll will be responsible for the payments you missed, so there’s no good reason to do this.
Instead, take the appropriate measures through the court system. Once you obtain a child support modification, you’ll find it easier to keep up with your payments in the future. And that will benefit both you and your children.