Modifying Child Support: When and How to Seek Changes

Many issues must be addressed when couples get a divorce. One of the most important ones is child support since it has a direct impact on the life of the little ones. Yet, despite the best terms spelled out in the divorce agreement, there may be circumstances in life that may make it necessary to make changes to the way child support was originally set up. Some conditions permit these changes, and they are spelled out in child support law. This may make it necessary for you to work with an experienced family attorney when considering making any changes.

What Changes Must Have Happened for Child Support to Be Modified?

There are certain circumstances under which child support may be modified. These may be:

  • The fact that a parent’s gross income has changed by at least 20% since the agreement was signed
  • Because more than three years have passed since the last child support order was issued
  • When there has been a change in custody

You may explain the reason for your request for child support modification by explaining that the child custody or visitation order has been modified or that there have been substantial changes in the financial needs of the child. You may also claim that there have been changes in the cost of healthcare or extracurricular activities for the child or that there is a situation of disability or illness in the child or in the parent that receives the child support. Other hefty reasons to request this modification may include the fact that the parent that is in charge of providing the child support has been militarily deployed or has been incarcerated. In any case, it boils down to proving that there has been a substantial change in the financial circumstances, be it of the child receiving the support or of the parent providing it. Your family attorney can help you put together a strong case to support your request.

How Can You Go About Requesting a Modification to Child Custody?

To request a modification to child custody, you should contact either the state or local court facilitator or your attorney. Whichever way you go, you must provide information and evidence to support your request. You may have to show income statements, tax returns, medical bills, or any other document that may serve to back up your claim.

Your request will be examined by the court once you file the appropriate paperwork. After reviewing the file and accompanying documents, the court will decide whether to grant or deny the modification. This must happen in the court that issued the original child support order. They will base their final decision using state laws and guidelines, or they may schedule a hearing in which you and the other parent will have the opportunity to present your arguments and evidence.

In cases where both parents agree to the modification terms, you can submit a written agreement to the court for approval.

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