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Is it possible to have my child support payment amount reduced?

Assuming you are asking this question because you are no longer able to make your regular payments, the answer is yes. North Carolina does offer parents options to modify child support orders under certain conditions. For example, if the parent responsible for paying support loses his or her job or suffers from a serious injury or illness, it might be possible to modify child support orders.

Typically, both parents must agree to the child support modification. If they do not agree, then a judge can step in to assess the situation and decide if a modification is warranted. However, paying parents who want to approach the issue proactively can follow a few guidelines that will ease the process of modifying child support orders. They include:

-- Continue your payments: If possible, it is highly beneficial to keep making your child support payments. This will keep you out of arrears, provide for your children and show both the courts and your co-parent your commitment to your family.

-- Take swift action: If you absolutely cannot make your next payment, take action immediately. While you will still owe any unpaid amount, you will need to seek a support modification as soon as possible. An attorney serving the Greenville area can help you get started.

-- Work with your co-parent: If you and the other parent can come to an agreement, it will save you time, money and emotional stress. If this is an option, mediation could assist you both in coming to new terms.

-- Education and documentation: Learn as much as you can about North Carolina's child support laws to get prepared for the modification process. You will also want to document the change in your circumstances. This includes documenting your attempts to find new employment if you have lost your job.

The tips above will reduce much of the legwork and anxiety that accompanies child support modifications. If in the end, you do have to seek litigation, choose an attorney with experience and compassion to help you reach your goals.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Support Modification Tips," accessed July 27, 2015

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