Like most parents, you want what is best for your child. In addition to providing love and affection, you never miss a child support payment. Nevertheless, the current economic downturn may have you experiencing some degree of uncertainty about your financial capabilities. If you lose your job, keeping up with your support obligation may become virtually impossible. 

If a judge has ordered you to make child support payments, you must do so. After all, in North Carolina, you may face a variety of consequences for not paying child support. If you cannot pay, though, you likely have some options. Seeking a modification of your support order may be one of them. 

Have your circumstances changed? 

Either the paying or the receiving parent may request a change in child support. To do so, though, there must be some change in circumstances that is both material and significant. If you lose your job and cannot find another one, you may have a qualifying change in circumstances. The same is true if you sustain an injury that makes earning money difficult. Nevertheless, to know whether it is appropriate to pursue a modification of a support order, you must look at the existing order and compare it to your current situation. 

Has some time passed? 

If you conclude you do not have a sufficient change in circumstances to warrant a modification of your support order, you may have another option. North Carolina law presumes circumstances have changed after a child custody order has been in place for three years. Therefore, if your existing order is older than that, you can request a modification without having to prove a change in circumstances. 

Few things are more stressful than not having enough money to pay your bills. If your financial shortfall affects your ability to make child support payments, however, you may feel downright despondent. Understanding the ins and outs of modifying support orders in North Carolina may help to put your mind at ease.