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Child support modification: There are things you need to do

Although you may not want to pay child support, you realize that this money goes a long way in ensuring a better life for your son or daughter. As you know, there is no better feeling than that.

You have every intention of making child support payments in full and on time, but remember this: Your circumstances can change without notice.

There is a formula in the state of California that determines how much one parent pays the other in child support. However, if your circumstances change, you may need to request a modification.

Here are the things you need to do:

-- Take immediate action. Once you realize you are unable to make your full child support payment, you should take the necessary steps in receiving a modification. Until then, you are required to make payments in full.

-- Learn more about your rights and the laws that govern child support. You need to know what you can do, what you can't do, and how to make decisions that will work in your best interest.

-- Reach out to the other parent. This doesn't always work, but you should consider the benefits of speaking directly with the other parent about your situation. This person may realize that you are going through a rough patch, thus agreeing to a child support modification for the meantime.

-- Document your changes in circumstance. For instance, if you are facing a serious illness, keep records of your doctors' appointments and medical bills. You can use this information to strengthen your case.

-- File your request. Sooner, not later, you should file your child support modification request with the family law court that issued the order in the first place.

If you are unable to pay your child support and need a modification, you should take action as soon as possible. By doing so, you'll come to better understand your rights and how the court looks at your situation.

With the help of a family law attorney, it's easier to make the right decisions at the right time. In the end, what matters most is that you receive a modification that allows you to continue to make payments for the betterment of your child.

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