I lost my job and I have a support order. What do I do?
If you lose your job or have some other kind of decrease in pay while you have a support order to pay, you want to file what is called request to modify support or support modification.
To do this, you need to file a Request for Order (sometimes called a motion) with the court. It is very important that you do this as soon as possible. When someone requests a support modification, the court has the ability to change support back to the date the request was filed (retroactive modification). The court cannot go back any further than the date the motion though, so that is why you want to file your motion quickly. If you do not file a motion to modify and can’t pay the full amount or any amount of support, you will accumulate support owed, called arrears. Arrears still have to be paid and they accrue interest while they are unpaid.
To file your request to modify support, you’ll need to fill out a Request for Order, which is form FL-300. On this form, you will tell the court you want to modify support and explain why. You will also need to provide an up to date Income and Expense Declaration, form FL-150, which is required whenever support is at issue. This form tells the court about what you are earning and what your expenses are. Both of these forms need to be submitted to the court whether you are filing to modify child support, spousal support, or both. For more information on how child support is calculated and can be modified, click here.
After you have filed the forms with the court and received your hearing date, be sure to have the other side served with all the documents. If the county Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) is involved in your case, make sure they are served too.
To learn more about support modifications and what to expect at a support hearing, please contact Romanovska Law.