If you are a parent who is paying child support, you want to do right by your child. You want to make sure that they have all they need to thrive in life.
But sometimes, you can experience adverse events in your life that make your child support obligation impossible to continue meeting. You don't want to fall into arrears, but you don't know what you can do. What happens next?
The first thing to do is stop feeling guilty for things that are not within your control. A work lay-off or job loss, an illness that leaves you unable to continue working, even the birth of another child whom you are supporting are all legitimate reasons that you may need to revisit the amount of child support that you are court-ordered to pay.
You will be glad to know that there are alternatives to actual cash that could potentially reduce your child support obligation. They include:
- Cover the kids under your health insurance policy
This amount may be deducted from your court-ordered payments. It will also relieve your child's other parent of the financial burden of paying for their health insurance.
- Update your additional payments for a second (or subsequent) child if you are paying child support for more than one child
Child support guidelines provide specific deductions to your income when you pay child support to more than one ex. Talk to a family law attorney to see if you qualify for lowered payments.
Child support modifications are issued sparingly when the parent's situation changes markedly. Not everyone will qualify. But if you think that you might, it is a good idea to investigate all possibilities.