Life happens and circumstances change. Whether you are a parent who pays child support or a parent who needs to receive it to provide for your child, you know what a big role this financial arrangement plays in the lives of everyone involved. So what happens when the child support arrangement ordered by the court is no longer right? There are lots of situations in which this might be the case, and sometimes it is possible to ask the family court to modify the child support order for your family. Let’s consider some situations in which this could happen.
But first, there needs to be a distinction made between an “adjustment” and a “modification”. An adjustment is faster and simpler. A modification is more complex and involves a longer process. Here are some situations:
Either Parent Experiences an Involuntary Change in Income
If the receiving parent experiences a loss of income, it may make sense for the paying parent (obligor) to contribute more so that the child’s quality of life does not decline. Likewise, if the receiving parent’s income increases while the paying parent’s income stays the same, it could be adjusted. If the paying parent’s income rises or falls, it may be possible for them to get an adjustment that changes their child support obligation proportionally to the change. Remember that to qualify you for a change, the changes must be involuntary. Voluntarily taking a lower-paying job or becoming a stay-at-home parent will not qualify you for a change.
Additional Children Are Born to The Paying Parent
If the paying parent has additional children, the obligor can request that his/her child support obligations be recalculated. Like an involuntary change in income, this would be considered a “substantial change in circumstances” and be considered for a modification.
The Child Needs Change
Older children often have more expenses than younger children because of things like school tuition and extracurricular activities. The receiving parent can request more child support to reflect these changing needs if more than a year has passed since the current order of support was entered and the child has moved up to a new age category in the support schedule. A child’s needs may also change due to medical issues or special needs.
The Child Is Going to College
Child Support Payments Are Usually Ordered to Be Paid until The Child Turns 18 Years Old or Graduates from High School. However, You Can Also Ask that The Court Order Child Support Continue Past 18 Years Old or Past High School and Continuing to College.
ZafiroLaw Can Help
At ZafiroLaw, we have the knowledge and experience to help you request an adjustment or modification to your child support order when the circumstances call for it. If you have experienced any of the circumstances described above, or if something else has happened that you believe calls for a change in your child support order, we welcome you to contact our team. We will guide you through the process of getting a court order that is more appropriate for your family’s current situation and needs.