Divorce is a complex process, and it will have a significant toll on your finances for years to come. Some Alabama parents may find their financial circumstances remain inconsistent even after their divorce is final, and some may no longer be able to manage their financial obligations. This could apply to a parent's ability to pay child support.
Child support includes payments made to the primary custodian of the child in order to help pay for his or her daily needs. However, a parent may not be able to make these payments each month through no fault of his or her own. In these cases, it may be appropriate to take the legal steps necessary to modify the existing support order.
How do you change an order?
It is not enough to have financial trouble and ask the other parent for a reprieve or reduction in your payments. While verbal agreements are often signs of cooperation between parents, they are not enforceable, and could lead to complications in the future. It is in your interests to seek a formal modification if you need to change. Some facts you may need to know about your custody order include the following:
- Some people may seek a modification if the original order was unfair or unreasonable.
- If your circumstances are temporary or you experienced an emergency that affected your ability to pay, you may be able to get a temporary modification.
- If you lost a job, remarried, had other children or the needs of your child have changed, you may be able to modify your existing order.
Seeking a modification is not always easy, even with a valid reason to do so. If you need to change, you may find it beneficial to first reach out for help in order to understand the legal options available to you.
Pursuing the optimal outcome
If you cannot keep up with your child support payments, this does not reflect on your abilities as a parent and your right to visitation. It is important to know your rights in order to better protect your interests, and you can do this by seeking a complete evaluation of your case.
If you have grounds to move forward with a petition for a modification of your current child support order, it can be helpful to have guidance as you navigate this potentially complex process.