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Is unemployment enough to modify a child support order?

| Oct 26, 2020 | Child Custody And Support |

If you are struggling to pay your monthly bills, you are far from alone. In fact, a recent survey found that 46% of Americans are currently having serious financial problems. Not paying child support, though, is simply not an option. 

The Alaska Child Support Division notes that unemployment alone may not be enough to warrant a modification in child support. Still, if you have experienced certain life events, it may be possible to lower your support obligation. 

Life events that often merit support modification

When deciding whether to seek a modification of your support order, you may want to compare your current income to your income at the time a judge ordered you to pay child support. If there is more than a 15% difference, a judge may agree to intervene. 

Among others, the following life events may also persuade a judge to decrease your support obligation: 

  • A considerable and permanent change in your income 
  • A change in your designated parenting time 
  • A change in the needs of your child 

If the basis of your modification request is a loss of employment, the judge may consider your work history, education and skills and even available jobs before modifying your support order. 

The importance of acting quickly

Alaska law imposes some serious consequences on those who fail to pay required child support. Therefore, if you fear you may fall behind, you probably want to act quickly. 

Child support modifications are not typically retroactive. Consequently, until a judge issues a new order, you continue to be responsible for paying child support from the original order.