Just because a judge has made a child support order doesn’t mean it cannot be changed. If there is a good reason for why a child support order or amount should be modified in any way, then the courts can rule to do so. You must, however, go through the court to request for a modification.
Reasons Child Support Can Be Modified
In order for a child support order to be modified, either both parents must be in agreement of the change, or there must be a change in circumstances that would require for the modification, regardless of whether the other parent agrees. There are many reasons, both personal or legal, that a child support order may need to be adjusted. Some of these reasons include:
- One or both parents have had a significant increase or decrease in income
- A parent has lost their job
- A parent has become ill or disabled
- A parent has been incarcerated
- The needs of the child have changed
- The child’s time spent with a certain parent has significantly changed
- Any of the factors used to calculate child support have changed
Depending on the circumstances, changes can may be temporary or permanent. That will usually be determined by both parents or by the court.
The Process of Modifying Child Support
The process of modifying child support depends on whether both parents are in agreement of the change. As mentioned before, requests for modification are considered either if there is a mutual agreement or if there is a change in circumstances.
- Mutual agreement: In a mutual agreement, both parents must agree on a modification to the child support order. Both parents must then sign a written request for the court’s approval. As long as the requested modification is lawful and in the best interest of the child, the court is likely to approve the change.
- Change of Circumstances: If there are significant changes to circumstances that may impact the current child support order, either parent may request for a modification. This can be done even if one parent is in disagreement. The parent must send a court hearing request citing the “substantial change” that has occurred. What is considered a “substantial change” can vary by state and circumstance. If the court approves the request, then the issue will usually be further handled during a court hearing.
It is important to know that the courts will always make rulings that are in the best interest of the child. If the reason for modification is not in the child’s best interest, then it may get denied in court.
Hiring an Attorney
If you and the other parent are in disagreement about a child support order or modification, it may be helpful to speak with a child support attorney such as the child custody lawyer Phoenix AZ locals trust. They can review the circumstances and the situation to determine the best course of action you should take. In addition, an experienced attorney can represent you in court where they will protect your legal rights and fight for your interests.
Thanks to authors at The Hildebrand Law Office for their insight into Family Law.