If both parties agree upon a modification in their original Child Support Order, they can put that agreement into written form and have it signed by a family law judge.
If the parties cannot reach an agreement on the amount of child support or another child support matter, one of the parties must file a Motion for Modification of Child Support with the court at which time the judge will consider several factors in deciding if the modification will be made. Decisions will be based upon whether or not there was a “material change in circumstances” in the life of the parents or the children.
Some examples of a ‘material change in circumstance’ that may warrant a child support modification include:
- A change in one or both of the parents’ incomes including involuntary job loss of a significant increase in income
- A change in a child’s personal or educational needs (which would mean changes in child care, health or education-related expenses
- A significant change in the amount of time the parent is able to spend with the child
- One spouse having additional children from a different relationship
- Incarceration or incapacitation of one of the parents
If a judge enters a child support order for an amount below that referenced in the state’s Child Support Guidelines, a party may seek a modification of that amount at any time without needing to demonstrate a change in circumstance or other qualification. However, a judge has the discretion to deviate from the Guidelines on a case-by-case basis.
Do I Need an Attorney to Modify an Existing Child Support Order?
If both parents are in agreement about the child support change and it seems very likely the court is going to approve the proposed modification, you may not need the services of an attorney. At the same time, it is a good idea to keep in mind that representation of an attorney can make your case in court and have a significant impact on the outcome, especially if there is custody or support dispute or if one develops.
A family law lawyer will communicate with the other parent on your behalf. In the event the judge does not share your opinion of what constitutes a ‘material change in circumstances,’ your attorney can argue your case in court and present evidence supporting your grounds for seeking a modification.
At Slater & Zurz LLP law firm we have attorneys who are very skilled in Child Support Modification matters and many other areas involving family law. Such requested changes in Child Support Orders are very common so do not hesitate to seek someone to assist you with the necessary legal actions. Call 1-888-534-4850 and ask for a family law attorney. You can also contact a Slater & Zurz LLP lawyer through the law firm’s website, slaterzurz.com, or go to the website and chat with a representative about your needs.