Modifying Child Support: 5 Necessary Actions
Anytime you lose a job, it's natural that you'd worry about your financial life. However, when you're divorced and making weekly or monthly child support payments, you might worry even more. There are multiple ramifications for not making your payments, and that can compound problems that are already happening because of the shift in your financial position. Modifying the child support order is an option, but you must also ensure you're working on these activities.
Continue Making Payments
Your first impulse may be to freeze payments, but that could prove problematic for both your children and your own legal position. Keep paying your ex if you can; if you can only do partial payments, ensure that you do that.
Know Your State Facts
You'll also need to find out whether a modification will be granted to you. In many states, there are strict rules about what will affect child support payments, and at times many parents try to achieve a modification only to discover that they're ineligible. Luckily, however, a job loss is generally considered a good reason to seek modification.
Ensure that you're keeping track, not only of your child support payments, but all your expenditures. When you're in court talking to a judge about the modification, it will be helpful to point out where your money's going. If you can show that you truly aren't able to make the same payments as before, modification is likely to be granted.
Tell the Other Parent
Your ex should be made aware of what's happened. Even if you're not speaking or don't consider yourself on good terms with your ex, it's important for your children that their other parent understands how their finances will change. This will allow them to plan as much as possible for a modification. Not only that, in many cases it's unlawful to withhold charges of circumstance. Ensure that you relay the information as plainly as possible; try not to let emotions about losing your job affect how that conversation goes.
Retain a Lawyer
Despite your efforts, modification could be denied if you go it alone. For that reason, throughout the process, a support lawyer could be an important guide and partner. Seek an attorney early so they can advise every move you make after your job loss.
By following these child support modification suggestions and using a support lawyer, your modification should be successful. Then you can work on improving your finances and putting yourself in a better position for yourself and your children.