What to Know About Modifying Child Support
Child support is a court order, which means that if you need to change the conditions of child support, a judge must approve the modification. You will need to request the modification from the same court that granted the original child support order. Even if you and the other parent agree to the change in child support, you will want to make it official with the court. Modifications can be permanent or temporary, based on the situation.
What Justifies a Child Support Modification?
Typically, child support is based on many factors that include the parents’ income, the child’s financial situation and the custody arrangements. Modifications are usually granted when one of the parent’s positions substantially changes. This could be due to a permanent disability or a job loss of one parent. The judge could also make a modification when the child’s needs significantly change.
How Do You Change Your Child Support Order?
If you are paying child support and find a change in your circumstances that make it difficult to pay your child support, act quickly. If you are receiving child support and need to increase it, you’ll want to follow some of the same steps.
- Get informed in your state to know if your circumstances warrant a modification. You may need to talk to a child support attorney.
- Keep making child support payments under the current order as much as possible.
- Document your change in circumstances. Take note of any efforts of trying to find new employment if you lost your job.
- Try to talk to the other parent before entering litigation. If you can’t agree, you can request a hearing before the judge. If you do agree, it can help the process go smoother.
- File a request for modification with the court. Be completely truthful on any documents that get presented to the court. Present evidence that supports a modification of child support.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
Technically, you do not need a lawyer to help with a child support modification. The situation may call for a lawyer to give you peace of mind that you’re meeting the requirements under the laws in your state. A lawyer can help you through the process and answer any questions. Every state has its own procedures and laws that govern child support modification. Because the consequences of not paying child support can be severe, it’s important to follow the laws when changing it. If you decide that you would like to contact a child support lawyer, then lawyers from a firm like The McKinney Law Group may be able to help you.