When you got divorced, the Georgia court awarded your ex — the custodial parent — what you thought was a fair amount of child support each month. You had a job that paid well, and you wanted your kids to be able to live the same type of life they did when you were a family.
That was three years ago. A lot can change in three years.
Your company downsized, and you lost that great job. You were able to find a new job — at half the pay. You know you just can’t afford that child support amount anymore.
So, you ask, can you modify the amount you need to pay each month? You certainly can take your case to the judge.
In general, courts will consider modifying the amount of child support if a parent has a significant change in income or has lost their job. A court also will weigh making a change if child-related expenses change, such as medical bills.
You should know from the outset that the courts will investigate your request thoroughly and will compare your current income to the money you were earning when the original child support order was established. If the difference between the two is not what the court considers ‘substantial,’ your request will likely be denied.
It’s also wise to be prepared to explain why you weren’t able to find a job similar to your old one — with a similar rate of pay. The court will usually accept answers like a change in the economy or problems in the industry — essentially anything that doesn’t look deliberate on your part.
You likely will get only one chance to request the modification under this set of circumstances, so put your best foot forward. Your family attorney can assist with your request for modification.