Sometimes child support orders end up unfeasible. Significant life changes such as a drop in income, medical emergency, loss of a job or new marriage can warrant a modification of child support arrangements. If you want to reduce your child support payments, you will either need to have a judge change it or agree with the other parent about the changes.
Pursuing a child support modification can seem daunting and complex. The tips below will help you figure out the process.
1. Act fast
If you cannot pay the current amount, you will still be responsible for unpaid arrears, which are difficult to reduce retroactively or discharge in bankruptcy. When you find out your circumstances will change, start looking into modifying your child support immediately so the arrears do not add up.
2. Talk to the other parent
Try having a conversation with your ex about agreeing to reduced child support payments. While your ex may not feel excited about this idea, it is worth a try. Of course, this may not work out, but try to come to an agreement before pursuing litigation.
3. Make your current payments
Do the best you can to make your currently required payments. Follow the order to the best of your ability. If you do not put in your best effort, unpaid child support will only pile up, and it may give the impression you are not putting in enough effort.
4. Document your life changes
To prove you deserve a lower payment, you need to show evidence that your life has significantly changed. Document details about any change in employment or injuries. Document your efforts to find new employment. According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, a child support review looks at the income of both parties, so be sure to document everything accurately.
When child support becomes unaffordable, you may feel overwhelmed with stress. But following these tips can get you closer to changing your arrangement.