Life can throw some nasty curveballs, which can include the sudden loss of a job or a physical disability resulting from an automobile accident that makes it difficult to earn income. If your financial fortunes have taken a turn for the worse and you are currently paying child support, you should modify your child support payments in a West Virginia court as soon as you can to adjust to your new status.
According to West Virginia law, child support orders must contain notifications stating that child support is to be paid even if the circumstances of a person change since the support order was made. However, this only means that an order will not automatically change along with the circumstances of the obligor. If you suffer a hardship that inhibits your ability to make payments, you must take steps to have the order changed.
West Virginia’s Bureau for Child Support Enforcement discusses what people should do if they find they cannot pay their child support orders. Following these steps is crucial to making sure you are not put on the hook for child support payments that you are not able to pay or for payments you have missed before you were able to modify your support order.
Contact the Court
The BCSE states that if you end up in a circumstance that negatively impacts your income, you must communicate your status to the court at once. Whatever the reason for the change in your financial status, such as the loss of your job or a sudden physical disability that inhibits you from earning a living, you will have to describe it when you file for a modification.
Obtain a Court Order
Notifying the court is only the first step. To actually reduce your child support, you need a judge to issue an order that does one of three things. First, a judge might temporarily lower the amount you pay. Secondly, a judge could opt to reduce the amount permanently. Finally, you might end up with no further obligations at all, but keep in mind that the reason you lost your income will be a major factor in a judge’s decision. To learn which options are open to you, you could talk to the circuit clerk for the county that issued your child support order.