It’s your hope that you can pay your court-ordered child support until your children reach the age of 18, but you never know what will come your way in the future. It’s possible that your financial situation could change for the worse, which makes it difficult to stay current with payments.
If you’re no longer able to make your child support payments, here are the steps you can take to seek a modification:
- Keep paying to the best of your ability: You’re required to make child support payments in full until you receive a modification from the court. Even if you receive a modification in the future, you’ll still be responsible for any past due payments. You don’t want to slip too far behind.
- Take action: The longer you wait to seek a child support modification, the longer you’re required by the court to make your current payment. Once you realize you’re in financial trouble, put the wheels in motion.
- Talk to the other parent: This doesn’t always work, but there’s nothing wrong with sharing your financial hardship with the other parent. If they’re sympathetic to your situation, they may agree to a child support modification for the time being. This makes things much easier when your case reaches the court.
- Document your change in circumstances: The court won’t modify your child support unless you can prove that you’re unable to make payments in full. Document your change in circumstances, such as paperwork that shows you lost your job.
- File your request: There’s no guarantee of an approval, but you’ll never know for sure until you file your request with the court that originally issued the order. The sooner you do this, the sooner you’ll get a final answer.
If you’re seeking a child support modification because you lost your job, aren’t earning as much money, have a health scare or some type of unexpected expense, learn more about your legal rights in North Carolina.
When you take the right steps at the right time, you increase the likelihood of the court approving your modification. From there, you’ll find it easier to make your monthly payments, as scheduled.