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What to Do If You Can’t Afford Your Child Support Payments Anymore

 Posted on February 21, 2022 in Child Support

joliet divorce lawyerWhen parents decide to proceed with a divorce, many changes to the family occur. From dividing assets to child support, a divorce decree is set to ensure that both spouses continue their financial obligations to the family. Child support orders are set based on the financial health of both parents during the time of the marriage dissolution. However, finances, jobs, and spending habits change over the course of a person’s life. If a change in your financial situation has left you unable to afford your child support payments, you may be eligible to alter your child support order

Step 1: Find a Skilled Family Attorney 

Changing a child support order can be a difficult process. A divorce decree is a legally binding document, so a person cannot just hold off on making payments that align with a court order. When a person becomes unable to afford their child support, it is important to first reach out to a family attorney who can walk a parent through the process of petitioning for a change. A lawyer can help navigate the legal process of modifying child support in a timely and legally correct manner. 

Step 2: Prepare Your Financials 

If you are looking to petition for a change in child support and have found a trustworthy lawyer that you are prepared to work with, the next step is to prepare your financial documentation. The court will need to see proof of your financial change that resulted in an inability to afford payments. A lawyer can be handy during this process. Your lawyer will be able to help select the best documentation that represents your case and file it correctly during your petition. Were you fired from your job? Did you suffer from a recent salary cut? Do you have new expenses such as medical payments that prevent you from affording your child support? There must be documentation to show the situation at hand clearly. 

Step 3: File a Child Support Modification Petition 

You cannot simply stop paying child support if you cannot afford it. However, you may be able to modify the amount you are paying. To change a child support order in Illinois, you must file for a petition for child support modification through your county court. The court will review the documentation you have prepared, which may include:

  • Your past financial health

  • Your current salary

  • Changes in employment 

  • Changes in necessary payments for external circumstances (medical bills, debt)

Your attorney can help you proceed through the petitioning process and help grant you an alteration in your child support order. In the case that your petition is denied, an attorney may be able to continue fighting for you. 

Speak With a Joliet Child Support Lawyer 

At Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we understand that changes in financial situations occur during a person’s life. If you have recently experienced a drastic change that has left you unable to afford your court-ordered child support payments, our Joliet, Illinois family attorneys may be able to help you. To schedule a free consultation with us today, call 815-666-1285




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