Child Support Modification
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Can Child Support Payments Be Modified?
Sometimes, life has unforeseeable events that may make an existing child support order unrealistic. In order to change a child support agreement, circumstances must have changed. Circumstances such as a job loss, increased needs of the child, or a parent’s increased salary are all considered when child support modification is at issue.
Whether you’re paying support or receiving it, child support modification is sometimes needed, and consulting a family law attorney can help.
Read More About: Modifying Child Support Payments
What Qualifies as a Significant Change in Circumstances?
Qualifying events in support of child support modification include:
- Decrease of income: losing a job, layoffs, medical problems
- Increased needs and responsibilities for the child: a child may have increased dental bills, extracurricular activities, or participate in the school’s band.
- Increased familial responsibilities: a non-custodial parent may remarry, and have additional children to support, thereby he or she may seek to decrease payments.
- Increase in income: if a non-custodial parent receives a large promotion, or an inheritance, the custodial parent may seek an increase in child support.
Do I Need to go to Court to Change Child Support Orders?
It is a good idea to take this matter to court. If you are able to come to an agreement about modifying child support with your co-parent, make sure to get it in writing. Then, go to court and request that the existing order be modified to reflect the new agreement. If you don’t get an official court order, then the court usually won’t enforce your written agreement. So, if the other parent fails to fulfill his or her obligations, there won’t be documentation saying otherwise.
If you are unable to agree upon modifying child support, then go straight to petitioning the court. A judge will take any change of circumstance into consideration, then make a decision either in favor of a modification or against. A local, experienced child support lawyer can help you navigate the process and give you the help you need.
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Last Modified: 10-10-2017 01:27 PM PDT
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