If you cannot pay child support, you are far from alone. According to Debt.org, there are more than 11 million delinquent child support cases with a cumulative total of almost than $116.4 billion in arrears. There may be dozens of reasons you cannot meet your monthly obligation, such as medical emergency, job loss and reduction in income. Regardless of the reason, it is imperative that you bring the matter before a judge, who can assess your situation and reset your child support to a more affordable amount. 

Many people attempt to modify their support orders through an informal agreement with the co-parent. Debt.org urges that this is the wrong way to go about changing it. To change a child support order without consequence, you must file the necessary paperwork with the courts seeking modification. You should do this even if your financial hardship is only temporary. Once you file the paperwork, the court clerk will set a date for your hearing. 

At the hearing, you will present evidence in support of your petition to either modify support orders, pause support or end it indefinitely. Your evidence must show why you are unable to afford your current financial obligation. This may include paycheck stubs, termination papers, proof of increased living expenses and medical bills. 

If you run into financial hardship, it is essential that you take your case before a judge as soon as possible. A judge cannot change payments retroactively to the date you first began to experience hardship, but only to the date on which you filed. The longer you wait to file, the more your arrears will grow.