While children can bring great joy, they also bring a great deal of responsibility. When married, you and the other parent may have handled the necessary duties as evenly as possible. However, when you divorced and you became the custodial parent, you may have worried about the financial responsibilities that would fall on your shoulders when it came to providing for your kids.
You may have felt a sense of relief when the court awarded you child support. Now, the other parent has a legal obligation to provide you with a monthly amount of money to help provide for your kids. While you may feel somewhat satisfied with the terms of the support order, you may want to remember that circumstances could arise that may warrant a modification to that order.
Who can seek modifications?
When it comes to support modifications, either the custodial or noncustodial parent could pursue a change to the arrangements. However, in order for the alteration to remain legally enforceable, the court must approve the change. Therefore, if you feel the need to seek modifications or learn that your ex intends to take such action, you may want to prepare for the necessary court proceedings.
When can a parent seek modifications?
In order for a request for support modifications to have standing, a significant change in circumstances must have taken place. Some examples of why a noncustodial parent may pursue a change include the following:
- Getting married or having more children: If a noncustodial parent marries/remarries or has more children, he or she may request that the court lower the support amount due to an increase in responsibilities of providing for the new spouse or child.
- Decreased income: Parents commonly face unemployment or obtain jobs with a lower wage than they previously had. In such cases, a parent may request to lower the support to an amount more manageable on the new income.
As the custodial parent, you could request a modification for reasons like:
- An increase in the other parent’s income: If you discover that the noncustodial parent has recently gained a substantial increase in income or came into a considerable inheritance, you may want to request that the support amount increase to better match the income level.
- Increase in your responsibilities: As your children age, you will likely need to take on more responsibilities when it comes to their well-being. As a result, you may request a child support modification in hopes of gaining more support for the additional expenses your children generate.
While it may seem intimidating to go through a child support modification process, it may prove necessary in some cases.