Paying child support is a necessary annoyance. While you may understand the logic of providing funds for your child's needs and wants, child support is an expense that does not fluctuate, no matter your financial circumstances. In fact, if you are experiencing a serious setback, you may find the monthly support payments to be a heavy burden or even a hardship.
With your other financial obligations, you certainly have alternatives to explore when times get tough. Child support, on the other hand, is a constant, and Texas family courts do not appreciate excuses when you do not pay. However, if you are going through a difficult time, you may find relief in a modification of your support payments.
Why might a modification be appropriate?
Returning to court to seek a modification of your child support may seem intimidating, but it is a critical step to take if you are unable to meet your obligation because of any of the following or other circumstances:
- You lost your job or experienced a decrease in your normal income.
- You are dealing with unexpected medical costs or other major expenses.
- Your child's needs are costing more, such as orthodontia or extra-curricular activities.
- You have married or had additional children whom you must also support.
You may also seek a modification to your support order if your former partner has had a financial advantage, such as a job promotion or inheritance, that may reduce the amount of money he or she requires to maintain the home for the child.
What steps should you take?
If you want to request a change in your child support payments, you must present your reasons to the court. This includes providing evidence of your changes in circumstances and proof that you continue to make an effort to keep up with your obligations. The worst thing you can do is to stop paying your child support and hope things get better. Failing to make your court-ordered payments can result in serious legal trouble for you.
Instead, you should contact the other parent to see if he or she will agree to a modification to your payment amounts. Even if your co-parent agrees to accepting less money temporarily, or even agreeing to a permanent change in your support amount, it is still wise to see an official modification through the courts. This will provide you with the protection of the law that a verbal agreement will not offer you.