As a result of your divorce, the court may require you to make child support payments to your ex-spouse until your children reach the age of 18.
While it’s good to know that you’re doing your part in helping your children financially, there could come a point when your child support obligation puts severe strain on your financial situation.
If this happens, it’s imperative to take action by filing a request for a child support modification. Here are the five steps you should follow:
- Act swiftly: The court requires you to make child support payments, as expected, until you receive a modification. The longer you put this off, the longer you’re required to make a payment you can’t afford.
- Discuss your finances with your ex-spouse: It’s difficult to swallow your pride and have this conversation, but getting the other parent on your side can help receive an approval from the court. You don’t have to get into the finer details of your finances. Simply explain what has gone wrong and that you can’t currently keep up with your payments.
- Keep making payments: The court expects you to make payments in full and on time until you receive a modification. But even if you can’t pay in full, you should do your best to pay some of the money.
- Document your change in financial circumstances: In other words, you must be able to prove to the court that you’re unable to make your child support payments in full. Some of the most common changes in circumstances include job loss, pay cut and a serious injury or illness.
- File your request: Once you have all the details in order, file a request with the family law court that issued the current order. It’s your hope that you receive a new child support order in the near future.
If a child support modification is something you’re thinking about, take the steps above to determine if you’re able to secure a lower monthly payment.
Even though you’re required by law to make child support payments, you have legal rights that you must protect. Neglecting to do so can take a toll on your finances.