When you and your spouse married, you probably expected the marriage to last forever. When things didn’t work out that way, you may have felt confused and uncertain. The divorce settlement left you with a fair portion of your marital assets and debts and a child support payment based on your income, your spouse’s income and the total of your other obligations.
You may have expected this arrangement to last a while too. However, by now you may realize that nothing is certain. If circumstances have changed that make it increasingly difficult for you to meet your child support obligations, the worst thing you could do is to ignore the situation.
Reasons for modification
Modifying your child support payments is not easy. You likely understand that your child depends on your support, and your former spouse is liable to protest your request for a modification. Still, if you are unable to make the payments, it is better to deal with the situation in Missouri family court than to face the serious penalties for non-payment. Some legitimate reasons for seeking a modification of child support payments include the following:
- You are the contributing parent, and you have lost your job or suffered a decrease in income.
- You are the contributing parent, but you have remarried and have other children to support.
- You are the receiving parent, and your financial hardship necessitates an increase in support payments.
- You are the custodial parent, and your children have increasing expenses, such as needing braces or desiring to participate in sports or other activities.
- You are the receiving parent, and you learn that the contributing parent has come into an inheritance or has received a substantial pay increase.
If you are looking for the court to reduce the amount of child support you pay each month, it may be that the modification is only temporary. Perhaps you expect to regain your position at work at the end of the season, or you are looking for new employment. In such cases, you may not wish to seek a permanent change, and the court may revisit the modification after some time has passed.
Whether you are seeking a reduction in the amount you pay or an increase in the amount you receive, presenting your case to the court without legal assistance means missing the opportunity for sound legal advocacy at a delicate and important time. Your attorney can assist you in preparing and presenting your case for modification to the judge and work with you every step of the way.