When the court sets up your child support obligations during a divorce, they look at all of your current financial information. This generally just means how much you earn, how much you owe, what other obligations you have and things of this nature.
However, your child support payments could last for a decade or more. Is your financial situation going to look the same in five or 10 years? Are the payments going to be affordable?
For some, they are not. One woman became disabled and could no longer work. Without that income, it was clear that she could not make the payments she could have afforded before.
It’s not just disability. Some people lose their jobs due to downsizing. Others get new jobs that pay less. Some get married, have more children and see their expenses increase even though their income stays the same. Still others have unexpected medical bills.
If something like this happens to you, it is possible to ask for a child support modification. You do not always have to abide by the original order.
However, it is very important to keep paying. Do not fail to pay, even as you seek a modification. Do not “modify” the payment amounts on your own. Keep up with your obligations, ask the court for a modification and then pay the new amount that they give you after they look into your situation.
The key is to know what legal steps you can take to seek a modification, ensuring that the whole process follows the proper channels and gets approved by the court before making a change.