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When you were first divorced, the money you sent your ex every month for child support might have been hard to spare, but you always came up with it and paid it on time. But since then, you got caught up in corporate downsizing and went through your savings, and your new job just doesn’t pay what the old one did. You aren’t going to be able to pay the full amount this month. Or next, you fear.

If you’re struggling to pay your child support, the Georgia courts could provide some relief through a child support modification.

You can’t ask the court to cut the amount you pay each month because you think the original award was unfair or because your house needs a new roof. Typically, someone who pays child support will receive a modification only when there is a significant change in their income. A job loss or loss of income qualifies you to make a request.

Remember, it can work the opposite way, too. Even if your income hasn’t changed, the child’s situation might have. Your co-parent could seek an increase in the amount of support you are required to pay if the child’s expenses have gone up, such as for medical treatments or education.

Be aware that the court will look into your request to track your income at the time the child support order was made and compare it with what you’re earning now. If there is not a substantial difference between the two figures, a modification likely will not be granted.

Your family law attorney will inform you about the information and paperwork you’ll need to file for your modification.