Once the dust settles after a divorce, many parents find that their child support order does not match their child’s needs or their ability to make payments, which may necessitate changing a child support order. Courts understand that the circumstances of supporting parents often change, as do the needs of a child as they grow. Hence, the courts may agree to modify a custody order after reviewing evidence that a change is needed.
If you believe that a modification to your child support order is a good fit for your needs, it is important to work through the proper channels to make this change. Some parents attempt to work out adjustments to child support without going through the court, which places them in serious legal danger. It is wise to work within the law toward the support modification you need.
In order to convince a court to modify your support order, you must present a strong case laying out how the order affects you and the modifications that you need. For instance, if your employment changes and income shrinks, you may request a modification so that you can afford to make your support payments. Likewise, if you hold primary custody and your child develops a medical condition and requires ongoing care, you may need to modify your support agreement to cover the increase in medical costs.
Whatever modification is necessary, you must typically petition for the change through the court that last issued or modified your support order. This may change how you approach the process, so be sure to build a strong legal plan before you begin filing for modification.
Play by the rules for reliable results
Many parents fall prey to the temptation to work out new terms to their support and custody order without going through the courts. This approach reduces the costs and time involved in a court-ordered modification, but leaves both parents vulnerable. If one parent negotiates lower child support payments with the other parent but does not modify the order through the courts, the receiving parent may accuse the paying parent of child support delinquency at any point they wish.
While working through the courts can take time and incur frustrating costs, working within the framework that the law provides keeps both parents safe and ensures that both parties uphold their responsibilities to their custody and support order.
For the sake of protecting your rights and the best interests of the child you love, make sure to build a strong legal strategy to address any child support or custody issues that you encounter.