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Can I reduce my child support payments?

Everything in life is changing, and, unfortunately, the salaries we receive from our jobs can change, too -- sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Perhaps you were working a lucrative job as an engineer when you got your divorce, and the judge ordered you to pay $1,000 monthly in child support. Recently, though, you got laid off.

You were fortunate to find a new job quickly, but the salary is half as much. You need to downsize a lot of things in your life, and your $1,000 per month child support bill is making things difficult. Can you apply for a reduction in your child support obligations?

What's a child support modification?

Applying for a change in the amount you're ordered to pay in child support each month is referred to as a child support modification. If you receive a substantial raise at work, and you're suddenly making a lot more money, your ex might ask for a modification to increase your child support payments. Conversely, if you receive a significant reduction in salary, you might be able to ask for a reduction in payments.

Whether a judge grants your request for a child support modification depends on your circumstances. A modification might be temporary if you're suddenly out of a job or if you suffer a temporary injury or illness. A modification might also be permanent if your ability to earn a salary changes permanently.

Reasons for granting a child support modification?

The reasons for granting a child support modification are many and varied. Here are some of the most common reasons that could result in a change:

-- Alaska child support laws change.

-- The cost of living changes.

-- One of the parents goes to jail.

-- One of the parents suffers from a disabling health condition.

-- One of the parents suffers a significant change in economic circumstances due to a change in income.

-- After remarrying, there is a significant change in family income of the spouses.

Can you qualify for a child support modification in Anchorage?

If you think you could qualify for a child support modification, you might want to investigate the possibility with an experienced family law attorney. It's best to move forward with a such an application as soon as possible -- especially if you're suffering from financial difficulty. The longer you wait, there's more potential that you could get behind on your child support payments.

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