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I can’t afford my child support payments, now what?

When everything is going as planned in regard to your finances, you may find it easy to make child support payments as required by the court. However, if something gets in the way and your financial situation takes a turn for the worse, you may need to request a child support modification.

While there is no guarantee the court will approve your modification request, you won’t know for sure until you file the necessary paperwork.

If you find yourself in this position, here are the steps you need to take:

  • Take action now. If you can’t make your child support payments, you should take action as quickly as possible. Don’t let back payments add up, as there is no way of getting rid of these without paying.
  • Learn more. There are laws that govern the child support system, including how you pay and the process of requesting a modification. The more knowledge you secure the better off you will be.
  • Let the other parent know the situation. Once you tell this person that your financial situation has changed, they may be willing to agree to a child support modification. The court still has to approve, but your chance of success is much better if you have the other parent on your side.
  • Keep up with payments. Even if you don’t have enough money to make your full child support payments, you should keep up to the best of your ability. This shows the court that you are trying, all the while doing your part in helping your child live the best life possible.
  • Prove that you have a change in circumstances. The court won’t take your word that you are unable to make your child support payments in full. You need to prove this, such as by showing that you’re unable to work as a result of an illness.

It is important to file your child support modification request with the appropriate court as soon as you’re able.

You may discover you no longer have to make your payment in full. Instead, you can pay a lesser amount, even if only temporarily.