As a parent, you want to do right by your children. Even if you are the noncustodial parent, you want to do what you can financially and make sure your son or daughter has the resources they need to do well in school, fit in with their peers and live a happy and successful life.
Providing for your children often means paying a reasonable amount of child support to your ex-spouse. When you provide that support, you have the right to expect that the money you give will be used to provide for your children and give them the things they want and need. That is certainly a reasonable expectation, and if you think your rights are being violated you will want to contact a good child custody lawyer in Oak Park as soon as possible to reach a fair and reasonable agreement.
You may also need to contact a child custody lawyer if your circumstances change and the amount of child support you had been paying is no longer reasonable or even affordable. If you lose your job or suffer a major cutback in hours, you may no longer be able to provide the same level of child support – at least until you land another job and get back on your feet. A good lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and tell you what to expect every step along the way. No matter what your circumstances or how much child support you are currently paying, it is important to stay informed. Every state has different rules regarding child support adjustment and different criteria concerning which life changes warrant a support modification order. Having a good attorney in your corner will help you understand the laws in your state and your rights to a modification of the child support order.
If you have a good relationship with your ex-spouse, you might want to talk things over informally before filing a formal request for child support modification. If your ex-spouse is reasonable, he or she may be willing to temporarily reduce the amount of child support you pay until your financial situation improves.
Whether you work things out with your ex-spouse on your own or hire an attorney to file the paperwork for you, you will want to keep meticulous records and carefully document the change in your circumstances. If you have lost your job, you will want to keep a copy of your unemployment paperwork, and a letter from your old employer if possible.
If your hours have been cut back and your income has been reduced, be sure to keep your pay stubs from the last several months. This will serve as documentation of your former high income and your current reduced pay. The more information you can provide when seeking a child support modification, the easier the process will be for you, your ex-spouse and most importantly your children.