During a divorce, a judge will determine how much child support the custodial parent will receive. This amount is mainly based on the parent’s income. But circumstances can change on either side which can lead to a child support modification. Being aware and educated about these circumstances is important if you are looking for a modification.
Reasons to Request a Child Support Modification
Change in Income
Income is one of the main reasons to request a child support modification. If the parent who is paying child support has lost their job or has had a pay decrease for some other reason, they may ask to pay less in child support for the simple fact that they can no longer afford what they were previously paying.
The court will compare the previous income when the child support modification was first put in place to the current income. They will determine if it is a significant difference that requires a change.
The best evidence to support your claim is to bring your most recent tax returns and your most recent pay stubs. This will reflect your current income so that the judge can determine if the difference is great enough to require a change in child support.
Change in Child’s Needs
A child’s needs can change over the years for several reasons. If you are the custodial parent and need more money to adequately take care of your child, you can request a child support modification.
As children grow, more financial support may be necessary to take care of their daily needs. Medical bills can also become more expensive if the child has a health condition. Education costs can also rise which would lead a custodial parent to request a child support modification.
You may also request a child support modification if you know that the non-custodial parent has received a substantial raise or inheritance.
Frequency of Requesting a Child Support Modification
Each state differs as to how often you can request a child support modification. Some will only consider a request every two years. This is important to know so that you only ask for a change when it’s needed. If you anticipate another situation that will lead you to request a child support modification later, you may want to wait until then.
It’s important to do your homework when it comes to a child support modification and only request one when you think you have a good reason. If you constantly go to the court with a request that’s not valid, it will not only be denied, but the courts may also begin not to take you seriously. You don’t want to take that risk.
Temporary vs. Permanent Modifications
If the court agrees to a child support modification it can be temporary or permanent. A temporary modification can cover a one-time expense such as a large medical bill.
A permanent modification will be ongoing due to a change in circumstance. One reason can be if a child becomes disabled or has developed another permanent condition that will require more care.
How to Request a Child Support Modification
Once you have your request ready, contact the Child Support Enforcement Office where the original order was issued. You’ll need to file a formal motion and follow the necessary steps.
If you need help please contact me.