Withholding child support isn’t always something people do out of spite. In fact, it’s very likely that the person can’t afford it or has had an emergency come up. If you are someone who struggles to pay support or who has not been receiving the support you’re owed, one thing that might help is a child-support modification.

When you ask the court to modify child support, you’re showing that you’re willing to pay but unable to in your current circumstances. While you do need to continue paying as much as possible until the modification is approved, taking a step toward correcting the situation is important.

Why do people seek modifications of child support?

The most common reason is a result of a changing job. If you begin to earn more money at a job, the amount of support may increase as a percentage of your overall take-home pay. If you are demoted or lose your job, then you may have to seek a modification to make sure you can afford to cover the support you owe each month.

It is important that children receive the child support they deserve, but that can’t be at the expense of a stable life for the parent. Parents can seek changes to child support whenever they need to due to a life change.

Another reason someone might seek to alter child-support obligations is if they have a child or fall ill. Both situations cost money, and it limits how much the parent has to put toward their child. It is extremely important to guarantee compensation for the child of divorce or separation, but it is also necessary to ensure the parent can afford to make payments.

When parents can’t afford to make the payments they owe, this is when it’s more likely that the custodial parents will stop receiving appropriate child support.

What should you do if you can’t afford child support?

Your attorney can help you file for a modification of your child-support order. It is a good idea to bring pay stubs, a list of expenses and other financial documents when you talk to your attorney, so they can guide you toward the correct modification request. As long as you request a fair adjustment to the support you owe, the judge should take your request seriously and help you avoid a situation where you are held in contempt for failing to pay support.