Reducing Child Support Payments - Feinberg & Waller, APC
"If you've been ordered to pay child support and you've been paying your child support, but then something happens and you lose your job or you get a demotion or you're making less money than you were when the order was made. What do you do? Obviously, you don't have enough money to continue to make the support payment, and equally obviously, the person who is receiving the support payment still wants to keep getting them and so if you have a child support order and you've lost your job when you live in LA County or Ventura County or anywhere in the state of California and that has happened to you. Can you do anything about it? The answer is yes. You go to court and you ask the court to modify your child support order. It's called a child support modification request. And you literally go into the court, explain to the judge what happened, this is what I was making then and this is what I am making now. Will you please recalculate the support so that I am paying an appropriate amount of support with regard to whether I am getting unemployment or whatever my economic situation is.
In fact, depending upon the economic situation of the person you are paying the support to, if you lose your job, they may have to pay you support. The key here is you have to act quickly, A lot of people will lose their job, they'll just stop paying and then three, four, five, six months later they finally decide I have to do something because my ex is hounding me and then they go into court to ask for that the amount to be modified. The problem is for all of those months that you haven't done anything, it's just been racking up more and more that you owe. So if you're laid off or you've suffered some kind of interruption to your cash flow, you need to get yourself in front of an accomplished, experienced child support attorney who can help you get into court, ask for the request and when then your hearing is held one, two, or three months later, you can then ask the court to make the new order retroactive to back when you originally filed your request. And that will get you the most relief that you could possibly get and when we are talking about child support modification, in California you are always entitled to have an award of guideline child support. In other words, it is always modifiable based upon the circumstances that are happening at any given moment. When someone comes in and asks about a child support modification, one of the first questions they ask is, "Do I have to keep making this payment that I can no longer afford to make?" And the answer is, well if you can't afford to make it you're not going to be able to make the payment no matter what, but here is what you need to do. You need to pay what you can while your request is pending. The reason you do that is because you are demonstrating to the court that you are acting in good faith. Your honor, I am doing what I can, I just don't have the financial wherewithal to pay that original amount. So pay what you can while your request is pending and ideally once the judge rules on your request and modifies your support down that will be retroactive in effect and you will receive credits for all of the payments you have made."
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