Sometimes, it's necessary to ask the court to modify your child support arrangements. To do this, you'll have to ask the court to modify your support order.
You may have several reasons for seeking a child support order modification. There are a couple common reasons that judges see often including:
- A change in jobs/earnings
- A change in living conditions
- A change in the custodial parent's living conditions
- Changes to custody orders
Here's an example. If you previously paid child support and had your child 30 percent of the time but have just won an order to have your child 70 percent of the time, a judge may reduce how much you pay in child support, since the other parent isn't caring for the child as often as before.
Another example would be if you are changing jobs or have been demoted at work and will earn less than you do now. You may need to have the support order altered to help you continue to make fair payments.
What should you do if you can't afford to pay support?
Try not to pay less than you're ordered, and never stop paying, even if you can't afford the full amount. If you don't pay child support, you can be found in contempt of court and could have your wages garnished. Seek a modification and wait for it to be approved before you change what you pay the other parent. Your attorney can help you prepare your documents to show why the modification is necessary in your case and how it will help you.