Your situation has changed--Job Loss or Less Hours

If you have lost your job and getting unemployment benefits, make a photocopy showing total amount of benefits awarded, date lost job and when benefits started. If working less hours, gather your last 3 mos. of paycheck stubs. Make copies of everything.


Check Internet for Court Self-Help Center or Go to Courthouse Self-Help Center

Obtain Motion to Modify Child Support paperwork. and financial statement form. Read instructions, carefully complete attaching copy of your proof showing how much you now earn. Attach copy of original order (child support order or divorce decree). File your Motion with the Court Clerk and make sure you get a hearing date.


Let other party know about hearing date.

Have a third party complete cerfificate of mailing and mail copy of motion, completed financial statement form with proof of your current income and certificate of mailing to the other side. File original certificate of mailing with the clerk and keep copy.


Attend hearing on scheduled date and time

Show up on time for your court hearing in front of judge. Bring copies of everything with you. Be polite, look clean, don't wear shorts, tube tops, halter tops or t-shirts with nasty sayings.Calmly explain to the judge you are looking for work, tell him where you've looked and bring any proof you have. Ask for a temporary reduction in child support. Be prepared for the judge to have you come back in a few months to see if you have gotten a job.


After Hearing

Prepare an Order from the Hearing which will set out what the judge ordered. Deliver copy of your order to the courthouse for judge's signature. If judge approves order, he will sign and then you make copies and file with the clerk. Send file stamped copy of order to the other side with proof of mailing.


Child Support Paid through the DA

If you are paying child support through the District Attorney's office you probably have a garnishment. Contact them, complete their paperwork and ask them to put your case on calendar for a temporary modification. Don't just stop paying child support and assume the Court and/or the DA know why you stopped paying. You must file the necessary paperwork with the Court and get the judge to say "yes, times are tough for you and we will give you a temporary break". The Court doesn't know your situation has changed unless you tell them.