April 17

Can I get child support modification?

Life changes day by day, and circumstances change. Even though you have already established a set child support amount through the court's system, if there has been a change in either parents' income, you can ask for child support modification. A modification can be short or long term depending on the individual situation. 

The courts want to make sure children under 18 are getting the same level of financial support as when both parents lived under the same roof. The evidence is needed before modification can be made regarding child support compensation. The person asking for the modification needs proof that the income of the other parent has increased or that their income has decreased. The most common and easy to obtain evidence is recent tax return statements and the most recent pay stubs. 

There are many variables in child support modification including:

  • Income decrease: It happens more often than not that one parent may lose his or her job or have a decrease in pay for any reason. One parent may not be able to meet the current child support obligation or the main caregiver has had a decrease in income and is unable to properly care for the child with the current set amount.
  • Responsibilities for minor children change: As children grow older their needs change, whether it be medical like braces or if they want to participate in extracurricular activities. The custodial parent may file for more child support to help with the extra needs of the children. 
  • New responsibilities: On the other hand a non-custodial parent may re-marry and have stepchildren to support. In that case, the parent can seek to lower his or her child support compensation to be able to support their new family. 
  • Substantial increase of income or large inheritance: If the non-custodial parent gets a significant raise at work or inherits a large sum of money, the custodial parent may ask the courts to modify the payments based on the income increase. 

Depending of the circumstances the court may grant temporary or permanent child support modification. The needs of the children are always the main concern. Custody issues can be an emotional roller coaster for both the parents and the children. For more information on child support modification contact Benjamin J. Cox.