Search
Search
Contested Divorce

How to Modify Child Support Payments

Date:
By Liz B. Gatsby
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Whats the process for modifying child support payments

If you have an existing child support order and your circumstances have changed, you may be able to get a modification.

For example, if you have lost your job or your income has decreased, you can request a decrease in your support payments.

Alternatively, you can contact your local child support enforcement agency and ask them to review your current order and determine whether a change is necessary. In some states, they’ll also handle the filing of your modification request directly with the court.

Filing a modification request

A child support order is usually established in a divorce or separation agreement, but the law allows you to change that amount if you can prove a substantial change in circumstances. These changes can include an increase in the paying parent’s income or an adjustment to the child’s needs.

You should first try to reach an agreement with your ex. However, if that fails, you can file a modification request with the court.

Getting a modification can be a lengthy process, and you may need legal advice from an attorney to get through it. You can also get assistance from a local court clerk’s office or self-help desk.

Some states allow automatic cost-of-living adjustments in child support payments every few years, so you might be able to get a higher amount if the other parent’s income has increased significantly. But if your state doesn’t allow that, you might have to show that the new amount is still sufficient to cover the costs of raising the child.

Reaching an agreement with the other parent

If you and your ex-spouse agree to changes to child support, there are ways to make them legally binding. Whether the change is to child custody, visitation or support payments, you can write an agreement for a judge to sign and make it a court order.

Your agreement should cover things like parenting schedule, decision making, travel and expense sharing. It should also be clear who will pay for medical expenses, tuition and other education costs.

It’s often better to work out these details in an informal negotiation than through legal action. This process can be easier, less stressful and can save you money in the long run.

If you need help negotiating an agreement, ask your court’s Self-Help Center or Family Law Facilitator for a template or more information. Or you can hire a lawyer to review the agreement before you sign it.

Getting an agency review

Agency reviews can be a stressful experience for both parties. The client may want to make sure the agency is the best fit for them, while the agency may want to avoid the pain of a break-up.

While reviews are a normal part of business, it’s important to conduct them efficiently. Start by writing an RFP and defining the scope of work.

Doing so will help you narrow down your search and make it easier for agencies to respond.

In addition, conduct the review at a time that aligns with your marketing campaigns or other projects. This will allow your team to dedicate their full attention to vetting the agencies and helping you find the best fit.

Before conducting your agency review, check out Mercer Island Group’s checklist for marketers to aid in the process. By following these tips, you can streamline the process and make it a success for both your organization and your agency.

Asking the court directly

Whether you want to get child support payments lowered or increased, the process starts with asking the court directly. This is usually done by filing a motion in the same court that issued the original order.

The law takes into account your state’s child support guidelines when it calculates how much you owe, so a modification will require that you show that there’s been an unanticipated change of circumstances that should justify an adjustment.

One common reason for a modification is that your income has changed significantly. This could be the result of a job loss, a change in your child care expenses, or an increase in taxable wages.

Another common reason for a modification is that your time-share (how much time you spend with your child) has changed. This can be the result of a change in custody or divorce.

Law
Share with your friends on
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
RELATED NEWS
Contested Divorce
Date:
By Liz B. Gatsby
If you’re in the midst of a divorce, you might find it difficult to figure...
Contested Divorce
Date:
By Liz B. Gatsby
If you’ve recently got divorced, you might be wondering, “Can I get my maiden name...
Contested Divorce
Date:
By Liz B. Gatsby
If you don’t pay child support, there are a lot of legal options available to...
LATEST NEWS
Divorce LawDivorce Lawyers and FirmsMain News
Date:
By Liz B. Gatsby
Divorce can be an emotional and complex process. One of the key decisions is how...
Divorce Law
Date:
By Liz B. Gatsby
Spousal support is money received from one’s former spouse upon divorce and serves to compensate...
Child CustodyFeatured ArticlesMain News
Date:
By Liz B. Gatsby
When parents cannot agree on a custody arrangement, the judge may assign a guardian ad...