From the court fees to the loss in marital property, divorce tends to be an expensive process that changes your finances for the worse for a while. It is even more overwhelming when you are the one who has to pay child support to your ex. It can become hard to keep up on payments when you experience struggles in life.
However, not paying can lead to severe penalties, such as losing your driver's license, which you need to keep your job. What can you do to make the payments more affordable? If you can show eligibility, you can request the court to modify the child support amount you pay.
When you can receive a modification in child support
To qualify for a lower payment amount, you must prove a substantial life change has occurred. It cannot be voluntary, such as choosing to quit your job. Examples of significant changes include the following:
- You became disabled and can no longer work
- You started receiving financial assistance from the government
- You declared bankruptcy
- You lost your job or received a large cut in pay
- You obtained more parenting time with the child
- Your cost of living went up
Child support ends when your child turns 18, though the court may extend it until high school graduation. Other times when you can request a change or an end to child support is if your child joins the military, becomes legally emancipated or marries. In addition, the modification must be in the best interests of the child.
How to request a modification
You are eligible for a review child support every three years, but to do it earlier, there must be a major change. You must file a petition with the court and provide ample evidence of the change. The court will compare your current income and employment with past ones and go through the same process as with the first child support order. You may have to answer questions about your income.