Child support: What to do if you can’t pay

| Jun 15, 2020 | Child Support | 0 comments

When you’re required by law to pay child support, you’re aware of the many ways it will change your financial circumstances. While you may find it easy enough to make payments when everything in your life as going as planned, things can and may change in regard to your money.

There is more to requesting a child support modification than what you see on the surface. Without the right knowledge and approach, you’ll find yourself continuing to pay your current amount, which you may not be able to comfortably afford.

Here’s what you should do if you’re interested in obtaining a child support modification:

  • Talk to your ex-spouse: You should never have too much pride to discuss your situation, concerns and the changes you hope to make. You don’t have to go into all the details, but instead explain to your ex that your finances have taken a turn for the worse. Your ex alone doesn’t have the power to grant a child support modification, but if they’re on your side there’s a better chance the court will agree.
  • Don’t stop making payments: Even if you’re in the process of requesting a child support modification, it doesn’t mean you should stop making your current payments. Continue to do so to the best of your ability, as you’re required to make all back payments.
  • Document your change in circumstances: This is where you’ll make or break your child support modification. The court will only grant this request if you can prove that your financial circumstances no longer allow you to afford the payment. There are many examples of this, such as losing your job or a disability that keeps you from working.

Once you carefully move through these steps, you can then start the process by making a formal request with the court that issued your original order.

A thorough understanding of your situation, legal rights and the legal system will go a long way in helping you make decisions that work in your favor. Your finances have changed, so you may need your child support obligation to do the same. Don’t hesitate in taking action.