You have every intention of paying child support in full and on time, but that doesn't mean that things can't go wrong with your finances. From losing your job (and the paycheck that comes along with it) to a serious medical concern, your circumstances could change to the point of being unable to keep up with child support payments.
If you require a child support modification, it's critical to take action as quickly as possible. Until the court approves your request, you're expected to make full payments on your regular schedule.
Here are some other things you need to do:
- Talk to your ex-spouse: They don't have the sole power to approve a child support modification request, but having this person on your side will work in your favor. If your ex agrees to a temporary modification, share documentation with the court.
- Don't stop making payments: Even if your financial situation is dire, keep making payments to the best of your ability. The existing order remains in effect for the time being, so even if you can't pay in full you should pay something.
- Document your change in financial circumstances: The court that issued your order won't agree to a modification unless you can prove that you're unable to pay. They also won't take your word for it. You need to document your change in financial circumstances, such as by showing the court a termination letter from your former employer.
- File your request: Once you're sure that a child support modification is necessary, file a request with the court that issued your original order. Follow the procedure outlined by the court, all while continuing to make payments.
If your modification request is approved, you can then catch up on back payments and begin to make the new payment in the future.
In the event that it's denied, find out why and then learn more about the process for filing an appeal in Alaska.
It's important to make child support payments, but if you can't do so you must take immediate action. This is the best way to protect your legal rights, while also ensuring you don't overextend yourself financially.