How can I change a child support order?
If you are having trouble keeping up with your child support payments you may be able to have the order changed. In order to do so, your first step should be to see if the other parent can reach an agreement with you over a modification to the child support terms. In such a case, you can ask the judge to approve the change.
If you are unable to agree on a modification with your ex-spouse, you will need to go before a court and the both of you can present your case for the amount you think is appropriate to pay. To obtain a modification, you will need to establish for the court that a substantial change in your circumstances makes a modification necessary. The court may grant either a temporary or permanent modification.
Permanent modifications are typically awarded for:
- Loss of employment for either parent or new jobs with considerably different income
- Change in the child support laws
- Either parent becomes disabled
- Either parent remarries and their income increases the household income
- The cost of living increases
- The child’s needs change significantly
You need to take action right away if you are unable to continue paying your monthly support if you’ve lost your job. Support payments not made become arrears and will not go away but must be paid and not even a bankruptcy can get rid of them. File a motion with the court as soon as the other parent refuses to agree to a change.