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Tips for modifying your child support payments

You want to modify your child support payments. It's not that you don't want to pay, it's just that the amount you were ordered to pay in the divorce no longer fits your life.

Maybe you lost a big contract. Perhaps your business hasn't been doing well. Some of your investments may have tanked. Maybe you had another child and have more financial obligation. There are plenty of reasons why the court order may appear outdated.

If you are going to seek a modification, here are some tips that will help.

  • Do it as quickly as you can. Don't put it off. Every month you wait is another month where you're obligated to pay more than you can afford.
  • Talk to your ex. If the two of you can come to an agreement, it makes the process easier. Explain your situation and be willing to communicate to find a resolution that works for both of you.
  • Learn as much as you can about the process and the valid reasons to request a modification.
  • Keep documents that show the change in your life. For instance, tax returns may show decreased income, Be able to prove what you claim.
  • Pay as much as you can. Show that you still want to do what's right, even when it's challenging.
  • Don't keep anything from the court. When disclosing assets and income, be completely honest.

It's very important to understand what legal steps to take. Modifications must be approved by the court. Never start paying less until you get the new court order, or you'll still owe for those back payments.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Support Modification Tips," accessed Jan. 05, 2018

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