Do you feel as though you’re paying too much in child support? Or are you a custodial parent who isn’t getting paid enough? Child support orders can be modified, but a modification has to be requested first. Child support is not automatically modified based on changes to your income or your lifestyle; the court has to be consulted on each change.
Here are a few reasons why you might want to modify your child support order – or why the court might modify it for you at the request of your ex-spouse.
Your Income Has Changed
The most common reason a child support order is modified is because income has changed. If you are the non-custodial parent and your income has gone down, you can file to get your child support lowered.
Of course, you will also need to show that your income has gone down for reasons beyond your control, such as getting fewer hours at work or having to get a different job. If the court suspects that you’ve artificially lowered your income, they may deny your change request.
Your Child Needs Additional Care
Sometimes a child’s needs may increase in cost. One common need that may increase in cost is insurance. If your child has had some health issues, their medical bills and their insurance costs may have gone up. That means that your share of their costs will also go up.
If you are a non-custodial parent, you may find yourself in court for a modified child support order, as you’ll need to pay more for these costs. Custodial parents should carefully document these costs.
You Have Had Additional Children
If you have additional children, you may be able to modify your child support order. This is because you have additional children to support. The child support order is intended to make sure that all of your children are supported by you equally.
If you have had children recently, then your child support order will likely go down, as you will now need to support your new child. The child support court understands that you cannot support two full households and that adding children to these households (including via adoption) may impact your financial situation
You Have a Specific, Short-Term Order
Not all child support orders are permanent. Some of them are short-term. If your child suddenly has a onetime expense that needs to be filled, then you may have a short-term order for child support filed. You can go to court to argue against this if you believe that the expense is not necessary or if you disagree with the expense that is being paid.
If the expense is for something that is necessary, on the other hand, the short-term order will likely be upheld by the court.
You Have Received an Inheritance
If you’ve received a large inheritance or windfall, your child support may be increased to compensate for this. Your inheritances and your windfalls still do count towards the amount of money that your child is legally entitled to as your child. (Comparatively, spousal alimony would not be impacted by an inheritance
received after a divorce.)
Any interest gained from an inheritance may also impact the amount of child support that you pay, as it’s considered to be income to you.
Though these are a few reasons why you might modify your child support order, you technically can request a child support modification for any reason. The judge will decide whether they consider your rationale fair. For more information about child support and child support modifications, schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Lynda Latta, LLC.