If you can't keep up with your child support obligations due to disability, unemployment, or another valid reason, you may ask the family court to modify your payments. Although it's possible for you to decrease the amount of child support you pay each month, you may need to have a few things on hand first. Here are two things you might need to consider or do before you modify your current child support payment order.
Provide Proof of Your Reduced Income
Although many parents can lose their income unexpectedly, some individuals can lie about their income and assets in order to avoid meeting their monthly obligations. The lies can make it difficult for custodial parents to care for their children.
In order to protect children and their custodial parents from fraud, family courts established a number of laws and guidelines regarding child support. One of the things noncustodial parents must do to modify their child support orders is to show real and true evidence of their reduced or loss of income.
Evidence can be:
- copies of unemployment benefits
- copies of state assistance and other benefits
- copies of disability payments
Once you obtain or retrieve the information above, you can make your modification request.
Make Your Request Through an Attorney
While it may seem simple to make your modification request yourself, it may not be. You must be able to obtain the correct modification forms from the family court. If you don't complete your request properly or complete all of the correct forms, the family court may deny your request to modify your child support payments.
An attorney can obtain, complete, and file your paperwork for you. A lawyer may also submit copies of your unemployment, state, or disability benefits to family court. If the family court needs additional verification of your financial situation, a lawyer can help you obtain it.
It may take time to complete your modification request. Until the court completes your case, you should maintain your current child support payments. Be sure to keep receipts and all other evidence of your payments in a file. The family court may request this information later.
If you can't make your payments or meet all of your monthly obligations, tell an attorney immediately. A lawyer can take the appropriate measures to protect your rights as a parent. The other parent may also be willing to work with you until the family court modifies your order.
For additional details about child support modification, contact a child support lawyer.