If you are paying child support and do not have shared custody of the kids, it can feel like you got the short end of the stick. It’s not that you oppose the agreement or object to financially supporting your children, but when things get tight it can be difficult to make those payments.
Missing child support payments is a serious issue. Unlike other debts, there are few options for finding relief when you fall behind on your child support. This is why it is critical to reach out for help as soon as you realize your situation will not allow you to meet your obligations. You may be able to obtain a modification of your child support order.
Reasons to ask for a change
If you are struggling to pay your child support, you may be able to modify the amount of court ordered child support. While the judge may not approve a modification depending on your financial situation, some reasons why a change may be in order include the following:
- You lost your job or your income has decreased, and the change was not voluntary.
- Your children are spending more time with you and less time with the custodial parent.
- You have remarried or had more children who also require your support.
- You have had a financial setback, such as a medical crisis.
On the other hand, the custodial parent has a right to seek a higher amount of support if your financial situation has changed, such as a raise, a promotion or a significant inheritance. Your former partner may also ask the court for more money from you if the children’s expenses have increased.
Is it time to seek a modification?
It is not unusual for court orders related to family law to work well for years. However, life can change quickly, and the courts are aware that circumstances change. When you wish to seek a change in your support obligations, you will have to file the appropriate papers with the court. The judge will expect to see evidence to support your request as well as documentation of your efforts to pay according to the current orders.
If you are concerned that you are unable to comply with your court order for child support, the sooner you can seek legal counsel and take the appropriate action, the less likely you will find yourself falling behind on your legal obligations.