The court expects both parents to comply with the terms of a child support order. However, these terms are not set in stone. The law gives parents the right to ask the court to revise the terms of a child support order. But, the judge will only grant this request if he believes a modification is absolutely necessary. When is it appropriate to request a child support modification? Here’s what you need to know:
A Change in Circumstances
The parent who is requesting the modification must prove that there has been a change in circumstances that affects the child support order. Legally speaking, this means that a parent must show that a permanent, unexpected, and substantial change has occurred. If this is not proven, the judge will not approve the request to modify the child support order.
Examples of Changes in Circumstances
There are countless changes in circumstances that warrant a child support modification. It is common for parents to request a modification due to a change in income. For example, if the parent that pays child support was given a pay cut, he may ask the court to reduce child support payments to make them more affordable. If the parent who pays receives a substantial raise, the other parent has the right to ask the court to increase child support.
A major health problem can also warrant a child support order modification. A serious health condition could affect a parent’s ability to work, so child support payments may need to be modified to accommodate this change. A modification may also be granted if the child is diagnosed with a serious health condition. In this case, the custodial parent may request more child support to cover the cost of healthcare.
The court typically orders the non-custodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent. However, if the custody arrangement has changed, the court may need to modify the child support order as well. For instance, if the parent that pays child support is now spending more time with the child, the court may decide it is appropriate to reduce the amount of child support he pays to the custodial parent.
These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. If the modification request is granted, the judge will recalculate the child support payments and issue a new court order.
Do you need to modify a child support agreement? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our knowledgeable attorneys will work tirelessly to show the court that a modification is needed. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation.