LEGAL GUIDANCE THE WAY YOU WANT IT
Did you lose your job but you still owe child support?
In the ever changing economy that all Colorado workers must face, the sudden loss of your job is not uncommon. However, if you’re paying $800 a month child support — and you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck like most Americans — you could be in danger of getting behind.
Fortunately, Colorado courts know that life doesn’t always go as planned. A serious injury, the loss of a job, or some other unplanned-for event, can undermine you and your ability to pay child support in a heartbeat. It’s in these situations, that Colorado child support payers can seek for a modification to their child support orders.
Advice for succeeding in your child support modification
When applying for a child support modification, be sure to follow this advice:
- Work fast. When it comes to a change to your child support orders, speed is of the essence. The longer you wait, the more chance there is of your child support back payments growing to unmanageable levels. Since unpaid child support will not go away with bankruptcy, the debt is permanent. Be sure to request your modification at the onset of any change in your financial circumstances.
- Educate yourself about the law. Colorado state law offers clear guidelines to determine if your change in financial circumstances is substantial enough to warrant a child support modification. Knowing where you stand will help you stay realistic in this process.
- Negotiate with the custodial parent. You may be surprised to find that the other parent of your child, to whom you owe child support, is sympathetic to your financial woes. You may be able to reach an agreement on what you can realistically pay. Thereby you will avoid legal costs and other expenses relating to a formal request for modification.
- Pay as much as you can. If you can only pay part of your child support payments, so be it. Pay what you can afford, and the court will view your efforts more favorably than if you stop paying altogether.
- Keep records. If you suffered a job change and you’re now earning less — if you lost your job, or if you have a medical disability — be sure to document these changes. This documentation will help you prove your case for a child support reduction when it’s time.
Get help from a Colorado family law attorney
If you lost your job, a Colorado family law attorney can help you formulate a strategy to reduce your child support payments. In addition, if you’re receiving child support money — and you notice that the paying parent has received an increase in income — your lawyer also might be able to help you apply for a modification to increase the amount of child support you can receive.