At the time you signed the divorce papers and agreed to pay a certain amount of child support, it may have been an ideal situation. However, we all know how quickly life can change. We can lose a job, get demoted and have a debilitating injury derail our plans completely. When that happens, you can file for a child support modification from the courts.

Here are some tips that will give you a greater chance of success:

  • You will have to pay every dime of child support you owe on your current agreement, so if something changes, you need to act quickly before the situation gets out of hand.
  • Get to know your state’s child support laws. Oftentimes, you’ll be able to find out exactly what life changes can prompt a modification.
  • Talk to the other parent. He or she may understand your situation and agree to let you change your obligation, if only for a short period of time.
  • Continue paying your current child support as much as you can. Give it your best effort and it may be recognized by the court.
  • Keep documentation of your new situation as much as possible. For instance, if it’s a demotion, keep the correspondence with work and pay stubs showing a lower salary.


Of course, you’ll need to file the proper forms and documentation in court. For that, a family law attorney can be an invaluable help, guiding you through the process, assisting you with filing and helping you present your case.