One challenging aspect of divorce is figuring out who should pay child support and how much. The judge decides based on income and may include deviations from standard guidelines under specific circumstances.
However, this order is not necessarily permanent. As finances change for either parent, so can child support. If you receive payments, you may be able to request a modification for an increase in the amount if you meet one of these requirements.
Changes in income
Has your ex earned a raise, promotion or higher paying job? Have you lost your job, experienced a demotion or stopped receiving financial assistance? If the difference in income for either of you is significant (usually 15 percent), then a modification is very likely. Other circumstances that affect income are your ex getting out of prison or you becoming disabled.
Increase of expenses
The economy is ever-changing, and the cost of daily living can fluctuate. For example, your rent may increase. Likewise, the cost of taking care of children can also go up as their needs change. A child may require extra assistance in school, develop a medical problem or go through more food and clothing as they grow from children into adolescents.
How to request a child support modification
Normally, you can only modify the order every three years. However, you can do it sooner if you can prove a substantial change in your family’s situation. Begin by filling out the proper paperwork and submitting it. The court may ask for additional evidence of your claim.
The judge will review the information and decide on a solution. If you are eligible, the child support amount will be more. The other parent will receive a notification, and you will have to go to court.
If you are not eligible, nothing will happen. However, if the circumstances qualify for a decrease, the court will inform the other parent that he or she may go through the review process to obtain a lower payment obligation.