Parents who find themselves going through a divorce often have questions surrounding the process of paying or receiving child support. These questions can be posed by either the parent who has been ordered to pay the child support and has experienced a decrease in pay or the parent receiving the money who knows that their former partner has recently started making more money. Fortunately, there are steps for divorced parents to take to obtain a modification of their child support agreement.
Courts typically only accept a modification request when there has been a significant change in the needs of the child or the income of the parent who has been ordered to pay child support. Something such as a change in jobs by the parent ordered to pay child support or a new tuition rate for a child’s private schooling can be grounds for a modification in child support.
Parents should also be aware that many states put a limit on how many times a parent can file for a child support modification. States that don’t have a limit on how many total times a motion can be filed may have limits in place about how often those motions can be filed. For instance, some states only hear motions for child support modifications every 24 months.
This means it’s vital that parents only request such modifications in cases of significant financial changes. Custodial parents who receive the child support payment should only make a request when the financial needs of a child change dramatically. Non-custodial parents who are ordered to make the payments should only file for modifications when their own financial situation takes a turn for the worse.
Divorced parents seeking a modification to a child support agreement may want to contact an attorney who is familiar with their state’s family law system. This attorney may review the original child support agreement and walk their client through the process of filing for and obtaining a modification.