Is It Possible To Get A Change To A Child Support Order?
One of the most believed misconceptions about child support orders is that they cannot be changed. However, a modification request can be made by either parent, and the court could agree to the new terms. If you are the custodial parent and you are in need of more financial support from the non-custodial parent, here is what you need to know before filing a modification request.
When Can You Ask for a Modification?
You cannot ask for a modification just because you feel that the payments you receive are not enough. You have to show the court that you have just cause for asking for a modification. For instance, if you have lost your job or become disabled, or your child has unexpected medical bills that are far more than the support you are currently receiving, you can request a modification.
Should You Ask the Non-Custodial Parent for the Increase?
Any changes to the payment arrangements set up by the court need to go through the court. Even if you and the non-custodial parent are on good speaking terms, you should file a formal request with the court. Talking to the other parent about the request before filing it is a good idea though.
If you and the non-custodial parent are able to agree to a modification and amount, you can include that information in your filing. By having the non-custodial parent on board, you can strengthen your case for an increase.
You also have the added protection of a new enforceable child support order. If your relationship with the other parent deteriorate,s and he or she is unwilling to make the increased payments, the judge can take legal action to uphold the new terms. However, with no court order, the other parent could stop making the increased payments, and you would have no legal recourse.
How Can You File a Request?
Depending on the state in which you live, your family attorney might only have to file a motion with the court to request the new order. A court hearing will be scheduled, and the judge will hear both sides of the issue. If the judge agrees to the new order, a start date for the new payments will be set. However, if you lose your case, your original order still stands.
If you do need a modification, talk to your attorney as soon as possible. Waiting to file a request for increased support could impact your finances and ability to handle all of your child's financial needs. For more information, contact Cronk & Waterman PLC or a similar firm.