If you’re a single parent, your child is probably the most important person in your world. If you’re a single non-custodial parent, though, you probably only get to see your child every other weekend or once or twice a week. It can be hard to spend that time away from your child, but the idea of losing all access to your child is even more frightening. Unfortunately, that’s what could happen if you can’t pay your child support payments on time.

When a single parent falls behind on child support, or fails to meet the terms of his or her divorce or child custody orders, there is the risk that a court could strip the individual of parenting rights. As such, at any sign of changes in your life, be it your schedule or your financial situation, you should reconsider if you’ll be able to meet your child support payments and other obligations. If there’s a danger you can’t, you’ll want to file for a modification of your court orders.

If the court sees that there was a dramatic decline in your income, for example, the court may agree to lower your child support obligations to a more reasonable size that you can afford. Alternatively, if you have a change in your work schedule, the court may agree to change your parenting plan so that you can more easily fit your child into your schedule.

If you have encountered a major life change, and you’re not sure if you can meet your parental obligations as they’re described in your parenting plan or divorce order, a Maryland family law attorney can help. A lawyer can advocate on your behalf to show why your modification request should be granted.