Changes in your financial circumstances since the last child-support order can be considered in a request to modify the amount you are required to pay. The court will want to see that the disadvantaged financial situation, such as job loss, disability, etc., are not of your making and that you are doing what is reasonable to improve the situation. But if your financial resources have diminished, it is important to make a prompt appeal to the court for a new order in a lesser amount. Note: the court cannot make an order for less child-support that affects any amount due and payable before the date on which you file for a modification. So it is important to be prompt in moving for a new calculation of ability to pay and a new superseding order. Do not let child-support arrears pile up on the assumption that the amount of arrearage will be forgiven down the road because there was a valid or good reason for non-payment or less than full payment. You should seek counsel to assist you in the modification of your support order if there is reason to expect that the other parent will object.
I disagree with Ms. McCall in one respect. The court can modify the child support retroactive to the date of unemployment through no fault of your own. You need to notify the grandparents of the unemployment and then file a motion to modify IMMEDIATELY to protect your interests.
You can utilize the Family Law Facilitator's office to help you prepare the necessary paperwork for free.
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Please be aware that any comments that I have made are preliminary and tentative and not based upon a thorough analysis of your case. I would need additional information and review the exact documentation to be sure of the above advice. The answer above does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not require me to answer any future questions.
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