I lost my job; can I get my child support terms modified? | The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC | Certified Family Law Specialist
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I lost my job; can I get my child support terms modified?

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Losing your job can be a total shock to the system. One day you feel like you have things under control and the next you're having serious concerns about your present and your future financial well-being. Suddenly you are trying to figure out how you will be able to meet your obligations while you look for another job.

When you find yourself unemployed, one of the most important things you can do is adjust your budget to better accommodate your circumstances. This means cutting and minimizing expenses wherever possible. But what if one of your main expenses is child support? Is there any way you can get your payments reduced while your income is lagging?

Well, the answer is "perhaps." The first thing you need to do is contact the recipient of your payments and let her or him know about your situation. Hopefully, your child's other parent will be amenable to having the payments decreased. But even if this is the case, you will need to go to the court that issued your original support agreement and request a modification.

But understand, child support can be gleaned from a number of your income streams, including unemployment payments, severance pay, and other sources. So it is possible that you may not be able to get the modification you are seeking.

And perhaps, most importantly, do your level best to keep up with your payments while you pursue your modification. You will be responsible for that money regardless of your employment status and every dollar you miss will have to be repaid. Moreover, the court may view your efforts to make payments as a signal that you are not simply trying to get out of your support obligations. In turn, the court may have a more favorable attitude about granting you the modification.

Another thing you can do is hire an experienced child support attorney to act as a personal representative. The attorney can help demonstrate that your request for a modification is justified.

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