At the time you received your child support order, your payments were likely based on your income. In most cases, you can afford this amount of payments. However, there are some cases when you can't afford child support. You may have a loss of a job, an increase in bills, or another issue that has come up causing issues with your income. When this happens you may not know what to do or how to notify the family law courts. Here are a few key points you need to know.
Proof of Lowered Income
The first key piece of documentation you will need is proof of your lowered income. This is fairly easy to prove if you have lost your job or if your hours at your job are decreased. You will need paystubs proving this claim. You will also need to have a letter from your employer verifying the loss of hours and how long this loss is expected to continue. If you are a freelancer or business owner, you will need to show proof of loss of freelance contracts. You may also need to prove a drastic and ongoing drop in sales. This can be done through your bookkeeper or sales and accounting software program for the last several months.
You will need to petition the family law court for an assessment change. This will require you to prove the loss of income as well as fill out court paperwork declaring the loss of income. When the paperwork is filed, the courts will make an assessment of your income based on your declaration as well as related paperwork and income reports. This can take several weeks to compile and a new assessment to be created. Once the new assessment is done a change to your child support payment may be made by the family law courts.
Late Payments and Penalties
Some important things that come up in many cases are late payments and penalties. There is a misconception that you will have these removed if the family law courts determine you do have a loss of income that can affect your child support payments. The truth is you may still have to pay your late payments and any penalties even if the amount of support was lowered. If you have an issue with these payments and penalties, you should discuss the possible options with your family lawyer.
When you gather your income proof and other related information, contact your family law attorney. They can schedule an appointment to discuss your current issues and the proper steps to take in order to have your child support temporarily reduced. They can also answer questions about what to do when your income increases and you can have your case reevaluated.