Child Support Modification Lawyers

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Most Common Family Law Issues:

Can Child Support Payments Be Modified?

Child support orders can be modified any time there is a significant change in circumstances.  The change in circumstances could either be for the parent who is paying child support or for the receiving child.

Once the child support agreement or order is determined by the courts, the child support payments may be increased or decreased depending on certain circumstances that come up. Child support modifications usually occur when a parent's income changes or the child's financial needs have changed.

What Qualifies as a Significant Change in Circumstances?

Significant changes in the paying parent’s circumstances may include: 

Significant Changes in the Child’s Circumstances may Include: 

Do I Need to go to Court to Change Child Support Orders?

You may not need to go to court to change a child support order, as long as the payment rate and schedule can be modified by the two parents.  If the two parents decide to do so outside of the courts, they must follow the same formula for child support that the courts do and should put the new agreement into writing.  If the two parents cannot agree on a new arrangement, they must bring the issue to a court hearing.

How Do I Change the Child Support Order?

To change a child support order or agreement, you must request a child support modification in the same court that granted the child support order. Even if the child support modifications are agreed between the parents, the modification must go before a judge before the child support payments can be changed. The modifications can also only be made if one parent shows that the modification is necessary because there has been a change in circumstances making the old child support agreement inefficient.

Modifications can also be permanent or temporary depending the the situation that a parent is facing. Temporary modification can be granted if there has been a temporary hardship or if there has been a emergency that requires more financial needs.

Is There a Limit to the Number of Times I Can Change a Child Support Order?

Either parent can have child support modified as often as necessary until the child is no longer dependent on the parents. Child independence varies from state to state, but common age of independence is when the child reaches adulthood at age eighteen or when the child graduates from college.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Modify a Child Support Order?

If you are seeking to modify a child support order, it may be wise to speak with a family lawyer to discuss your options, especially if you are planning to go to court.  Consulting with an experienced family lawyer can help you understand your rights and help you deal with the complicated court system.

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Last Modified: 03-31-2015 09:38 AM PDT

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