Many parents who carry a child support order want to provide everything their child needs, but sometimes circumstances align that make it difficult pay all of your obligations. Often, parents who face this dilemma worry that they cannot change their child support order, but in many cases it is possible to get a court to change a child support order to something more manageable, either permanently or temporarily.
Permanent modifications can occur if a court believes that the parent who requests the modification properly justifies the change. A court may approve a modification for a parent who falls on hard times, whether this is the loss of a job or a sudden increase in expenses, like a significant medical expense.
Even if you have reason to believe that your hard times are temporary, you may find it possible to temporarily modify a child support order. These are most commonly associated with parents who suffer a medical emergency and must be hospitalized for a significant amount of time. Often, such a parent will also petition the court to temporarily change his or her child custody arrangement if he or she can no longer care for the child while hospitalized. A temporary order offers relief until the parent can get back on his or her feet.
In order to receive any kind of modification, you must properly request it from the court. This process is often more time consuming than you might like, and requires following fairly strict guidelines. It is usually wise to enlist the guidance of an experienced attorney to help you file your petition and protect your rights as a parent.
Source: Findlaw, "Child Support Modification FAQ," accessed Aug. 18, 2017