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If child support is too expensive, can you modify your custody plan?

People tend to associate the amount of child support paid to the amount of time that one parent cares for a child. In part, that is true. A parent who has full custody or primary custody does usually receive support from the other parent.

That’s not always how it works, though. Changing your custody plan doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll save money on support. There are cases where someone with custody half of the time still needs to pay support. There are some cases where support is paid to the parent who has custody less, too, though that is rarer than other situations. Interestingly, a court can also ask that both parents pay support.

So, if child support is too expensive for you, is it worth trying to modify your custody plan?

No. Child support and child custody are two completely different topics. You will have two plans, one custody plan and one child support plan.

If you find that you cannot pay the support that you owe, then you have options. Right away, you should reach out to your attorney to let them know that you can’t afford to pay. Keep paying as much as you can on time, though, so that the court sees that you have been making an effort.

Your attorney can help you petition to modify your support order. When they do that, you’ll want to show evidence of why you need to change the order. For example, if you just lost your job, you can show that you cannot afford to pay. The judge may modify the support payments until you have a new job, at which time you’ll need to have the payments modified again to reflect your new income level.

If you do have to modify your support, that doesn’t mean that your custody plan should change. Unless you cannot support your child when they’re with you and they’d be in danger, then you should still be able to see them in accordance with the custody plan. These are two different agreements, so if you have questions, ask your attorney for assistance.

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