While you may feel disappointed that your marriage ended in divorce, perhaps your greatest regret is that you do not get to spend as much time with your children. Custody and visitation schedules can be frustrating, but you try to enjoy the time you spend together. You may feel proud and amazed at how much your children seem to grow before your eyes. Their needs are changing, and this may be one concern as you struggle to meet your child support obligations.
Child support can be a financial challenge. Because it is a set amount you pay each month, there is no room to adjust if times get tough. Keeping up may seem like all you can do, and falling behind can create an avalanche of trouble. Nevertheless, you may have an option for seeking a modification under certain circumstances.
When do I qualify for a modification?
Until your children graduate from high school, you are likely responsible for supporting their needs. The money you send supplies their clothing, food, shelter and the things they need for school. You may also provide medical insurance and pay for extra-curricular expenses, depending on your agreement or court order. A judge arrived at the amount you pay based on a formula that involved your salary and other factors. Those factors may have changed.
If changes in your circumstances have left you unable to meet your child support obligations, you may wish to petition the court for a modification of your payment amount. This may be a permanent change or, if you expect your situation to resolve, a temporary adjustment. Some common reasons for seeking a modification include the following:
- You have lost your job or were laid off.
- You have experienced a decrease in your income.
- You have married or have had another child that you must also support.
- You are facing the expense of a medical emergency.
- You have had another type of financial setback.
You will have to show the court proof that your circumstances prevent you from making your child support payments. The sooner you seek a modification, the less likely you are to begin missing payments, which can add up to a serious financial crisis. Reaching out to a family law attorney will help you learn what you need to know about seeking a modification to your child support obligations. You may once again have peace of mind that you are doing all you can for the well-being of your children.