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What happens if I can’t make my child support payments?

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2022 | Divorce

You love your children, and you’ve done as much as you can to make sure you are supporting them financially, emotionally and in any other ways they need. Unfortunately, with reduced hours at work and expenses increasing, you’ve found that the monthly child support payment you normally make is too much for you to handle.

People’s lives change all the time, so it’s not surprising when a parent’s financial circumstances change from what they were when the support order was originally ordered. If you lose hours consistently and cannot make your child support payments, something you should look into is seeking a child support modification.

When can you ask the Division of Child Support to review your payments?

The Washington Division of Child Support will review your child support order at any time if you’re hoping to get a modification. The DCS states that some normal reasons for modifications to the payments include:

  • Changes in your child’s daycare or medical costs
  • Changes in your job and income
  • Having another child since the order was created

Your child support order won’t be modified immediately just because your circumstances change, so you will need to reach out to the DCS to make your request.

Administrative versus court orders: There are differences

Court ordered child support cases are handled differently from administrative support cases. If you established your child support through the administrative process, you can call your child support officer directly and fill out a Petition for Modification-Administrative Order form. If you have a child support order made by the court, then you will need to make a modification request through the county prosecutor’s office. For this, you’ll need to have your receive paystubs, financial records and tax returns ready.

Don’t stop paying while waiting for a modification

The modification of child support is based on many factors beyond just your income, so if you have any major changes in your life, you may want to look into having the support payment modified. Until you do, remember that you are obligated to pay the amount on the order toward your child’s care.