Support orders are always modifiable. If your circumstances have changed (e.g. you lost your job, had to take a pay cut, or got sick and now have to pay huge medical bills) since a child- or spousal-support order was entered, you can petition the court to modify that order.
Once you are in court, you must be prepared to present an itemized list of your income and expenses — with back-up documents! If the judge can see that the support order is unreasonable, he or she will change it. On the other hand, if the judge just entered the support order recently, and nothing has changed since the order was entered, you’re going to have a tough time persuading him or her to change the order — particularly if the judge has already looked at all of your evidence and ruled against you. No matter what you do, though, having a lawyer represent you in this type of circumstance is always a good idea.
Karen A. Covy, J.D. is a divorce attorney and family law mediator in Chicago Illinois . She is the author of When Happily Ever After Ends, How to Survive Your Divorce Emotionally, Financially and Legally.