After finalizing your divorce, you and your former spouse have moved on with your separate lives. However, one thing still ties you to him or her: your children. In your case, you are responsible for making child support payments to your ex to help provide for your children.
However, you may be in a situation now where your previously court-ordered or agreed-to child support arrangement is no longer feasible. Fortunately, you may be able to get your child support payment amount modified. Here are a few tips for navigating this process in California.
Take speedy action
Perhaps you have lost your job and can no longer keep up with your current child support payment arrangement. Now is the time to take quick action. After all, you will still have to pay any unpaid support amount in arrears, and you cannot have this discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding. In addition, you generally cannot reduce this amount retroactively. For this reason, pursuing a child support payment modification as soon as possible is a wise move.
Record how your circumstances have changed
If your household income changed, or perhaps you have suffered a medical disability, documenting this in detail is necessary to demonstrate that a major change in your personal circumstances has occurred. This change would have had to take place after the court entered your current order regarding child support.
While you are documenting your life change, continuing to make your child support payments as much as possible will make you appear responsible and credible. Thus, it may benefit your case in addition to benefiting you financially in the long run.
Work toward an agreement
If you explain your circumstances to the other parent, the other party may be willing to agree to modify the current child support payment. In many situations, reaching an agreement in this area is challenging. However, pursuing one may be worthwhile considering the emotional and financial toll that litigating a child support arrangement can take on the entire family.
Mediation is one alternative to litigation that may help you to get your child support payment modified. During mediation sessions, you and your ex-spouse will rely on a mediator to help you to communicate with each other effectively and, hopefully, reach an agreement on child support modification without further court involvement.