If the judge has ordered you to pay child support, you are responsible for making these payments every month. However, there may come a time when you can longer afford these payments. For example, you could lose a job or have sudden medical expenses. If you ever find yourself in this situation, you can take certain steps with a family lawyer, like from Scroggins Law Group, PLLC, to make things easier on yourself.
Talk to the Other Parent
If you are having trouble making your child support payments, the first thing you should do is speak to the other parent about your situation. Even if you aren’t on the best terms with your ex right now, it is important to communicate openly and honestly with him or her. If you explain why these child support payments are a burden to you, it can reduce some of the tension and prevent issues later on. He or she will know that you have a legitimate reason for not being able to make payments and won’t assume that you are trying to escape responsibility.
Ask for a Payment Modification
The next step is contacting the Office of Child Support Enforcement and asking for a payment modification. You will be required to fill out paperwork and provide proof that you are having difficulty keeping up with your payments. For example, if you were let go from your job, you can provide a termination letter. Be completely honest in these forms and provide as much detail as possible. If they determine that your claim is legitimate, they will reduce your payments. They would rather you pay some support than none at all.
Cut Down Your Expenses
It is a good idea to try to reduce your expenses as much as you can. The more unnecessary expenses you reduce, the more money you will have for child support. Carefully go over your monthly spending and think about what you can realistically cut out. You may be surprised at how much you truly spend. For instance, if you go out to lunch several times a week, you can cut that out and eat at home. While reducing some of these expenses might be difficult at first, it will get easier and take a lot of stress off your back.
Speak to a Child Support Lawyer
If you are having trouble getting the state to modify your child support, you may want to consult with an experienced child support lawyer. He or she can look over the details in your case and advise you the best way to proceed. With a qualified child support lawyer on your side, you may have a better chance at getting your payments modified.
Not being able to afford your child support payments is indeed stressful. However, if you follow these tips, you may be able to get your payments modified. Talk to a qualified child support lawyer if you have any further questions.