The court issues a child support order in order to guarantee that the costs of meeting a child’s needs are covered by both parents. However, there are times when circumstances change and a modification might be necessary. These changes might be needed temporarily to cover an exceptional expense or permanently due to a specific situation.
Why should you seek a modification to a child support order?
There are specific reasons to seek modifications to a support order, whether you are the parent who pays support, also known as the obligor, or the parent who receives it. A modification of the child support order might be sought for a variety of reasons, including:
- A substantial increase in income or wealth due to a raise, new job or receiving an inheritance
- A significant decrease in income due to becoming involuntarily unemployed, having a disability, taking a lower-paying job or retiring
- The child needing permanent medical care for certain illnesses or conditions
- The child attending a costlier private school or childcare facility
- Exceptional expenses such as a child getting braces or attending some extracurricular activities
- The obligor remarrying and having new children
A situation where the modification might not be granted
There are some situations where modifications might not be granted. For example, if the obligor becomes incarcerated, they might become unable to pay for child support, but the court might not decrease their responsibility as incarceration might be considered voluntary unemployment or a temporary situation.
As circumstances change, it is important to continue meeting the child’s needs. When a change occurs, whether permanent or temporary, parents should get in contact with the state’s child support office or a knowledgeable attorney to begin the process of seeking a modification.