How to Modify Child Support Payments
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What Are Some Tips for Modifying Child Support Payments?
Child support payments are generally issued according to a child support order that is issued by the court. When attempting to modify child support, it’s necessary to contact the court and have the order modified, rather than simply changing the payments on your own (even if both parties agree). This is so that the court has records of the payments as well as the reasons for making any adjustments.
Some tips when modifying child support payments include:
- You should be able to fully support and document your reasons for changing the amount. This may include documents such as pay stubs, unemployment information, and other forms
- All adjustments to child support should be made with the child’s best interests in consideration
- Failure to comply with an existing child support order can result in legal consequences, like a contempt order or a fine. Be sure to get the court’s approval before making changes
- Don’t hesitate to file a request with the court- child support modification is common and the judge will understand the need to make adjustments
- Be wary when using online child support calculations. While these can provide an approximate figure, they often don’t take into account some significant details
When Can Child Support Payments Be Modified?
On the other hand, child support payment modifications can’t be made at any time just because one parent feels like it. It needs to be supported by legitimate need that’s related to the child’s upbringing. Whether requesting for an increase or a decrease in child support, there needs to be a good reason for it. These can include:
- Loss or change of employment
- Changes in the child’s necessary expenses
- Relocation of a parent or of the child (especially out of state moves)
- Any other changes in financial circumstaces
Again, all changes need to be approved before they can be implemented. This sometimes requires interaction with third parties, such as an employer.
What Happens If Payments Are Modified without the Court’s Permission?
As mentioned, unauthorized child support modifications can result in consequences. These can include penalties such as court fines and contempt orders. In some cases, major violations can result in other consequences like a loss of custody or visitation rights. Also, unpaid child support can result the court imposing action such as wage garnishment directly from the person’s paycheck.
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Last Modified: 02-18-2015 02:17 PM PST
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