Despite your best efforts, you’re unable to stay current with your child support payments. Rather than dig yourself a deeper hole, it’s best to learn how to request a modification from the court that issued the original order.

Here are five things you should do:

  • Take action: The more payments you miss, the more money you’ll need to catch up. Remember, the court expects you to make child support payments in full until you receive a modification.
  • Talk to the other parent: This doesn’t always work, but if the other parent signs off on a modification, it’s much easier to get the court to follow suit.
  • Keep making payments: Even if you can’t make your child support payments in full, pay as much as you can. Not only does this show the court that you’re trying, but it also helps protect against falling too far behind.
  • Document your financial change: The court wants to know why you’re unable to make your child support payments in full. Common reasons include a job loss, pay cut or serious health concern.
  • File your request: You’ll file your request for a child support modification with the court that issued your current order. From there, it won’t be long before you know what the future holds in regards to payments.

There is no guarantee that you will qualify for a child support modification, but if you can’t keep up with payments, you should consider taking this action. When you combine the steps above with knowledge of your legal rights, you’ll know what you need to do.