Child support is a sensitive topic. On one hand, it gives a parent the chance to stay actively involved in their child’s wellbeing. On the other, it can cause you financial woes.
At best, child support should never be an undue burden on a parent. It shouldn’t cost you much more than you spent on the kids when you lived with them.
If your child support payments are too much to bear, something is wrong. This financial obligation should not put you in the poor house while simultaneously putting someone else in the lap of luxury.
Generally, there are two major reasons why child support payments become a problem.
- Your Life Changed in a Meaningful Way
Courts tend to make divorce rulings based on what’s happening at the time, and they don’t always account for the future. These days, the future is more unsure than ever, and you can’t always keep up with bills you could have easily paid before.
Here are some examples of life changes that affect child support.
If you have been laid off or demoted, and this change is at least semi-permanent, you cannot be expected to keep up with your original child support order.
Job changes are grounds for a child support modification, but not always. For the court to approve a modification, it must see that the change was not your fault. If you were demoted or fired because of your performance, the court is not likely to take pity on you.
A New Child
Child support is based on the total number of children you support, regardless of who the other parent is. If you have a new baby, you have more mouths to feed, and it becomes harder to keep up with your prior obligations.
Courts normally allow a support modification when you have a new child. Work with your attorney to help plead for an alteration to your payments.
Changes in the Other Parent’s Life
Not all modifications apply only to you. Remember, both parents pay child support. One does it directly by living with the children and spending money on them. The other supplements that money through payments.
Here are some ways that you could modify your payments based on the other parent’s circumstances.
- They Remarry
Technically, spouses legally share their incomes. If your ex remarries, then they make more money, allowing them to contribute more to child support.
- They Make More Money
Child support is based on each parent’s income. Therefore, if the other parent makes more money, they can contribute more to child support.
Remember, however, that these same circumstances could be used to increase your payments. If you get a better-paying job, for instance, the other parent could request more from you.
- There Are Problems with the Original Order
If you’ve always had difficulty paying your child support, it’s time to view the original order. It should be based on the kids’ financial needs and each parent’s ability to meet those needs. Both parents should pay a fair amount of support, contingent upon their respective incomes.
Typically, courts don’t like to reverse past decisions. You will need the help of a good attorney to challenge your original child support ruling. They can collect evidence and help the court see how the original order simply doesn’t add up.
If you can’t keep up with your child support, reach out to us for help. We may be able to review your situation. Our goal is to help you adequately provide for your children while fairly lowering your payments. You can call us now at (916) 571-1550 or reach out to us online.