You love your children and want what's best for them; that's a given seeing as most North Dakota parents feel this way. However, since your divorce, you gone through many changes, including having to switch jobs and relocate. At first, everything may have been going according to plan with regard to your child custody and support agreements, but circumstances have changed and you think a modification of your existing court order needs to happen. To that end, you may wonder: What do you have to do to secure lower child support payments?
Submitting a request for lower child support payments does not in any way suggest a lack of care or commitment regarding your children's well-being. It merely shows that you are human and that life changes, and sometimes court orders need to change as well. You may only be in need of a temporary change and have every intention on raising your payments again down the line once you get back on track, financially, or you may need to ask the court for a permanent change.
Easiest ways to avoid complications when seeking modification
As with all post-divorce legal processes, you may run into several obstacles and challenges along the way before you rectify your problem. If you research state laws ahead of time and know where to turn for help, you may be able to avoid a lot of stress. The following list provides information that may help you expedite the process when seeking modification of an existing child support order:
- It often helps to discuss the situation with the other parent involved before taking action in court. The two of you may be able to work out an agreement ahead of time, in which case, you'll merely need to go through the steps of submitting your request and prospective plan for court approval. If your former spouse feels blindsided by your modification request -- because you submit it without discussing the matter first -- you may be in for a courtroom battle.
- It's crucial to keep making child support payments according to your existing agreement unless and until you have the court's permission to make a change. Otherwise, you could wind up in a lot of trouble.
- Keep thorough documentation of any and all changes that have occurred in your life to warrant a change in child support. You should be able to show the court proof of job changes, income changes, medical bills or other pertinent information to substantiate your request.
You're definitely not the first person, nor will you be the last, to need a child support order modified in North Dakota. Making ends meet while continuing to provide for your children after divorce can be extremely difficult if unforeseen circumstances, such as a medical emergency or loss of income take place.
Many parents seek legal representation before following through with their official requests so they have personal advocates on hand to help overcome any obstacles that may arise in court.