Fabio & Merrill

Job loss could be basis for child support modification

If you are a parent who pays child support, you almost certainly want to do what you can to contribute to your child's well-being. But if you recently lost your job or had your income drastically reduced, it may become very difficult, if not impossible to continue fulfilling your support obligations. This can cause very serious problems because if you don't  keep up with your payments, you could face some very unpleasant penalties.

So what is the best way to handle this situation? Well, the simplest solution involves going to the child's other parent and explaining that you simply cannot meet your support requirements for the time being. Hopefully, the other parent will understand and work with you by being willing to accept less money for a while. But even if this is the case, you will need to have the change approved by the court.

If the child's other parent is not amenable to a decrease, you can file for a modification and make your case before a judge in family court. To be successful, you will have to clearly demonstrate that your financial circumstances have been dramatically altered. You should also be prepared to offer proof to the judge that you have made a serious effort to get a new job.

But understand, if you do receive a modification, it will likely only be temporary. Also, there is no guarantee that you will be allowed to pay a lower amount. Other forms of revenue, such as severance pay and unemployment pay can be applied to child support payments.

Above all, do everything you can to keep current with your payments regardless of your circumstances. Making a good-faith effort to stay current with your payments can help convince the court that you are not simply trying to avoid your financial responsibilities.

If you believe that you have a valid reason to have your support payments modified, you may want to discuss the matter with an experienced family law attorney. The attorney can assess your situation and work in an effort to help you solve your problem as effectively as possible.

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