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Understanding child support modifications

In our society, there are a variety of issues that can creep up and affect our everyday lives. When it comes to child support, however, these issues are critical in assessing a person's ability to receive a child support modification.

Rhode Island residents are affected by child support guidelines, just as are celebrities and politicians. On the heels of failing to be reelected to Congress, former U.S Representative Joe Walsh has filed a motion in court to have his child support reduced to 20% of his current income. Mr. Walsh is currently ordered to pay $2,134 per month in child support. Due to his unemployment, the Tea Party Republican has alleged that he cannot afford to make the current payments as ordered.

Child support orders are established by strict state-by-state guidelines. However, over time, these orders can become unworkable due to unemployment, a significant change in household income or a change in marital status. If the two parents cannot agree on a change, a parent has the option to go to a judge and request a change in the ordered child support amount.

Kent residents who are in need of a child support modification should make sure to document their changes in circumstances immediately. Child support is not dischargeable in bankruptcy and the amounts can begin to pile up quickly when unpaid. It is critical that individuals who are facing a significant life change that will affect their ability to pay child support act immediately to have their monthly payments modified. It is as equally important to continue to make payments to the best of one's ability. Good faith is likely to be taken into account when the modification is reviewed by a judge.

Life can be complicated. However, by taking a proactive approach to one's situation, a child support modification does not have to add additional pressures and stress.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Joe Walsh Child Support: Ex-Tea Party Rep Says He Can't Afford Payments Post-Congress", Feb 12, 2013

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