FAMILY LAW ARTICLES
You and your ex have gone through the length, exhausting process of divorce and child custody. The court has finally issued a child support order. It is not perfect, but you feel that, for now, it will have to do. In the future, though, what if you need to modify it?
When the court issues a child support decree, it is meant to address the present needs of the child, the custodial parent’s child-related expenses, and each partner’s income. However, these circumstances sometimes change. It is sometimes necessary to modify a child support order. Child support modifications are possible, but only in a few situations.
When can a child support order be modified?
The court can modify a child support order if your circumstances have changed significantly. This could involve:
- Changing jobs
- Losing a job
- Suffering a disability
- Receiving an inheritance
- Having another child
- Being incarcerated
- An increase or decrease in the child’s needs
These are the most common instances in which the court may agree to modify a child support order. Generally, the court will not modify an order simply because the non-custodial spouse feels that the payments are too high, or because the custodial parent cannot afford unnecessary items for their child.
Should I petition to modify my child support order?
As you have already experienced from your divorce and your custody battle, life can change dramatically. When it does change, your financial circumstances often change along with it. It is not uncommon for people to petition the court for child support modifications—especially if it has been several years since the court issued your order. You and your attorney should carefully consider whether your situation has changed to the extent that you need to receive more child support or pay less child support. If this is your case, then you may indeed wish to petition the court to modify your child support order.