If you were ordered you to pay child support, you know that there is not much flexibility regarding what you are to pay and when. In fact, you are likely required to continue making on-time support payments until your son or daughter reaches adulthood.
Paying less than the full amount you owe may result in a variety of consequences, including wage garnishments or a driver’s license suspension. If you do not have the financial means to pay child support, though, you may wonder if it is possible to reduce your payments.
A change in circumstances
In Colorado, a substantial and ongoing change in circumstances may be grounds for modifying a child support order. This means your inability to pay cannot be merely inconvenient or temporary.
Here are some situations that may constitute a substantial and ongoing change in circumstances:
- You lose your job
- You experience a reduction in income
- Your child has different needs
- Your child’s living arrangements change
Determining if a change in circumstances is substantial and ongoing likely requires a case-by-case analysis. Therefore, it is critical to consider your situation carefully before asking a judge to reduce your support payments.
Some paperwork and a possible hearing
If you believe you have legal grounds to modify your child support obligations, you must file a request with the enforcement unit in the county where you live. With this request, you must submit a sworn financial statement that lists your income, assets, debts and other financial obligations. While judges have authority to modify child support without conducting an in-person interview, you may have to appear in court.
A bit of financial risk
Before deciding to seek a modification of your child support order, you must understand doing so is not without risk. That is, a judge may decide to order you to pay more in child support than you currently do.