Not many things in life remain the same and neither should a child support order if circumstances have changed. Whether you are paying or receiving child support, you might one day feel that the order should be modified to adapt to any changes in your situation. Thankfully, the courts allow this, but it is important to have a good understanding of what the process entails. You should also make sure you hire an attorney to help you navigate the finer, complex details.
Agreeing to a Modification
One of the first steps you can take is to have a conversation with your co-parent and try to see if you can reach an agreement on modifying the terms of your child support order. If you are able to accomplish this, you can simply ask a judge to formally approve the change. Agreeing on the medication is not enough. Otherwise, if one of you has a change of heart later on, you could run into some legal trouble.
Asking for a Modification
Oftentimes, exes cannot agree on a modification, which means that it is necessary to have a court hearing, during which you an each argue for the sum you believe is appropriate. Generally, to successfully obtain a child support modification, you must show that something in your circumstances has changed and warrants either a temporary or permanent modification.
Some examples of changes that could allow you to have your child support order successfully modified include:
- The medical emergency of a child
- The payer is temporarily unable to make payments due to illness or another temporary financial burden
- A temporary financial or medical hardship for the recipient
- Either parent loses a job or gets a new job that pays substantially less
- Either parent remarries and the income of the new spouse raises the household’s income significantly
- The cost of living increases
- A parent becomes disabled
- The needs of the child change significantly
- Child support laws change
If you are the paying spouse and you need to have your payments reduced because you lost your job or suffered a significant pay cut, you need to take the proper steps to have your support order modified as soon as possible. Any payments that you do not make will become arrears and the only way to address them is to pay them. They cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy and cannot be reduced retroactively.
Family Law Attorney in Clarksville
If you are in need of a modification to your child support order, it is critical that you do so as soon as possible and seek the skilled representation of a family law attorney. At Patton | Pittman Attorneys in Clarksville, our family law attorneys are committed to helping clients handle any family law matter no matter how complex it might be. Backed by over 75 years of combined experience, you can trust in our ability to assist you.
Get started on your case and contact us at (931) 361-4477 to request your free initial case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.