Every parent wants to do right by their child. Whether you are the primary caregiver, are the one picking them up and dropping them off from school or are there as financial support, every bit of parenting counts. Helping financially in the form of child support can become complicated, however, especially if you suddenly can no longer make your payments.
If you recently lost your job, incurred an unexpected new expense or for some other reason are truly no longer able to provide the same amount of financial support, then you will need to make arrangements for it right away. These are a few ways you can remedy this problem.
Making a motion to modify child support
First and foremost, the best ally you can have on your side in a situation like this is an experienced family law attorney. They will look at the facts of your predicament and find the best solution for your specific circumstances.
One of the most straightforward ways to modify your child support payment is to request it to the court with a Motion to Modify. In Alaska this will cost you $75 or may be waived entirely if you are low income. This motion will allow you to change several things, including child support, visitation and custody, as well as spousal maintenance and property division.
As outlined by Alaska law, there must be a good reason to request such a change; a reason significant enough to affect your child’s best interests, in fact. Two of the main reasons a judge will consider a modification include:
- There has been at least a 15 percent change in your income
- There has been a change in your parenting plan that has shifted custody from primary to shared
What this means is that when there is a significant decrease in your income, or when you are granted more parenting time, you may work with the court to lower your monthly child support payments accordingly.
While it does not work in every situation, taking more parenting duties can be a very viable solution to lowering your child support payments. If the other parent agrees, the two of you may modify your parenting plan to give you a more time with your child. The court recognizes that parenting time and financial support are both paramount to a child’s development and will likely reduce your payments.
Whatever solution you consider, remember that a relationship with both parents is instrumental to a child’s development; this is a fact supported by the court and most parents alike. Try to move forward with your little one’s best interests in mind.