Can child support be modified?
Child support is a legal obligation that is intended to help the custodial parent pay for the needs of their children. The amount of money paid is based on a number of factors, including the amount of time the child spends with each parent and the parties’ incomes.
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Sometimes, a change in circumstances occurs that causes one party to want to ask the court for a modification of the child support order. This may be a simple request to modify the amount of support due, or it could be more complex and require an appeal or trial.
If you are considering a modification of your current child support order, it is essential to seek an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you begin the process, the better your chances of getting the modification approved.
A common reason to ask the court for a modification is if a parent’s income has changed substantially or if they have lost their job. The court is required to consider whether a change in circumstance is substantial and whether or not a modification is in the best interest of the child.
Some parents may have the ability to negotiate a modification with their former partner without needing to hire an attorney. This can be a good option when the parents can agree on a child support amount that is fair to both. However, any agreement should be in writing so that it is clear to both parties what the new child support amount will be.
There are many reasons to ask for a modification, including changes in the child’s health, a significant change in the income of one parent or a change in the standard child support calculation. The modification process usually involves a petition, discovery, mediation or trial.
When Does a Modification Take Effect?
In most states, a child support modification takes effect when the changes in a child’s circumstances have caused a substantial change in the non-custodial parent’s financial situation. The court will look at the parties’ incomes, the children’s expenses and other factors to determine if a modification is necessary.
A change in a parent’s medical condition is also a ground for seeking a modification. A party seeking a modification may submit a doctor’s note that shows that he or she is no longer able to work because of a medical problem. The court will then consider the medical issue, as well as other changes in the parties’ financial situation, to determine if a modification is warranted.
Another change in a party’s income that can result in a modification is if the parent receives a promotion or raise. Alternatively, a party may be awarded a substantial inheritance or other major income increase.
If your circumstances have changed significantly, a professional family law attorney can help you seek a modification. They can advise you of the options available and guide you through the process to a successful resolution.
The most common changes that cause a child support modification are if one party’s income has changed dramatically, or if the parties’ children have grown older and their needs have changed. These changes can often be difficult to prove, and the court will consider many factors to decide if a modification is warranted.