As a supporting parent, you know that you want to give your child the best life that you can using the resources you have available. However, the realities of daily life make that impossible, or, at least, very difficult to manage.
At times, changes in your circumstances may drastically change the resources that you have available, and if your support obligations weigh too heavily on you, you cannot provide for your own basic needs or meet your non-negotiable financial obligations. While this is never a preferable circumstance to find yourself living through, the courts do provide legal means to modify your child support obligations, if you meet certain requirements.
If you find that you need a modification of your child support, you should make sure that you clearly understand the various legal issues at hand and have a full understanding of the process of petitioning the court for a modification. Seeking a modification will not prove as helpful to you later on if you do not take proper measures to protect your rights in the process.
What may justify a modification?
Courts look at the needs of your child as well as the resources that you have available to support the child when determining if it will modify your support obligation. On the one hand, if the child experiences greater seasons of need, a court may increase your obligation at the request of the primary custodial parent. On the other hand, if you find that your circumstances change and you can no longer make the child support payments dependably, then a court can modify your obligation to something more manageable. Courts consider numerous life changes, including:
- Loss of employment
- Significant decrease of income
- Medical emergencies
- Other financial complications
It is difficult to know how a court may choose to modify your obligation, but an experienced attorney can assess your circumstances and provide guidance and insight into the process that will help you know what to expect from a modification petition.
Keep up your payments
If you need a modification, it is always best to request it before you fall behind on your payments. Of course, it is difficult to demonstrate the need for a modification without showing the financial struggle your obligation presents. Be sure to carefully document your circumstances and remain current with your payments as much as possible, to keep your rights and privileges protected while you work to make it through a difficult season.