As your family changes and grows, it’s natural for the court orders regarding child support and other family law aspects to need amending. Whether you received child support orders after a divorce, separation, or another legal issue, it’s important to be vigilant in seeking modifications when necessary. The rulings the court made 5 years ago, or even 6 months ago, might no longer have any bearing on the current situation you and your children find yourselves in. If something changes in your situation, your co-parent’s circumstances, or those of your children, you may be eligible to seek a modification to court-ordered child support.
Modifications are legal changes to court-ordered rules. When it comes to family law modifications, changes may only be granted when either parent has experienced a substantial material change.
Causes for modifications include:
- A substantial change to either parent’s income
- A change to child custody
- Relocation of either parent
- The development of a major health problem or disability in either parent
- Changes to the child’s medical needs
- The birth of more children to either parent
The Modification Process
If you have grounds for a child support modification, the next step is to work with your family law attorney to file your request for a modification. However, if you are able to do so, it is always easier to negotiate new terms of child support with your child’s other parent. Parents are almost always more capable of assessing the needs of their children, and if you are able to come to an agreement about the terms of your support payments beforehand, it can save you additional time in court.
In the event that you and your co-parent are unable to reach an agreement, you will likely have to settle your case in court. If your case will go to court, it is important to have established documents to attest to the changes that warrant the modification. The courts will evaluate the situation as a whole, considering the income and financial status of each spouse, as well as the needs of the child. The child custody arrangement, the living circumstances of the child, and the medical needs of both parents and the children involved will be factored into the court’s decision.
Keep in mind, the goal of child support is to ensure that both parents contribute equally to the wellbeing of the child, financially. It also aims to ensure the primary caregiver has the means to take care of the child in question. Whether you are the recipient of child support payments on behalf of your child, or you contribute to child support, our firm can help you seek the modification you need. We can evaluate the circumstances of your case and help make a case for your needs.
Contact Smith Law Offices, LLC to talk to our St. Charles family law lawyers about your case.