Here is a little-known secret about family courts. They want you to succeed in fulfilling your child support obligations, and they strive to assist parents as much as possible. When you’ve hit a bad financial stretch and you’re unable to make your support payments, the court will often work with you to find a solution.
One way the state tries to help is by publishing details about support modifications on government websites. When you’re struggling to make your support payments, a modification can help. Here are two things to keep in mind:
Avoid making your situation worse
Many Sarasota, Florida parents dread the prospect of requesting child support modifications because they fear legal consequences. As such, they often delay making such requests until they are in dire financial straits.
Some parents attempt to modify their support orders without court approval, but this could worsen your situation, too. For example, paying less than ordered (even with co-parent consent) violates the orders a family law court provided and may lead to harsh consequences.
Addressing your inability to pay your support head-on is genuinely the best way to handle the issue.
Avoid requesting frivolous modifications
As you may know, if you experience a significant change in circumstances, you may file a petition requesting support order modifications. Losing your job or having your work hours cut are two examples of significant changes in circumstances that warrant a modification of support.
We encourage you to review your situation carefully. If your financial hardship is temporary, a modification request is probably inappropriate. If you anticipate long-term financial problems due to job loss, illness, injury or some other reason, it may be time to learn more by speaking with an experienced family law attorney.