We all want to be there for our children, supporting them however we can. Sometimes, however, the realities of life stop us from doing so. Child support can get away from you, especially when you simply can’t cover the payments. You may get too far behind to catch up, which could lead to legal trouble. If you are in this situation, you may be able to have your payments altered.
It is not enough to simply request child support modifications. You must have a justifiable reason for altering these payments.
Here are some scenarios that may warrant a child support modification.
The Payment Was Always Too High
A child support payment should not be burdensome. At best, it shouldn’t be too different from what you were spending on the kids before your divorce.
If both parents are employed, they both participate in child support. The court assumes that the custodial parent uses part of their income on the kids, and the initial child support ruling should be based on the parents’ combined incomes.
If you’ve always had difficulty keeping up with child support, then something probably went wrong in the original court ruling. You can request that the court take a second look, recalculating your income and your financial obligations. If it finds that the payments are out of balance, it can alter them to something more reasonable.
Your Job Situation Has Changed
Since child support is based on your income, it should reflect what you currently make. If you lost your job, or you were demoted, you may be able to have your support payments altered.
Keep in mind, however, that these changes cannot be your fault. Getting fired or choosing a lower-paying position rarely justifies a child support modification.
The job change should also be at least semi-permanent. If you have a solid resume and work in a field with many opportunities, the court may assume that you’ll be able to get work soon enough, expecting you to keep up with your current payments.
Modifications apply to job changes on both sides. If your ex loses work, they may be able to ask for more support from you. Alternatively, if they receive a higher-paying position, you may be able to ask that your original support orders be altered.
Your Ex Remarries
If your former spouse marries a new person, this technically alters their income. Typically, the state assumes that a couple’s combined incomes are a part of the overall marital assets. Therefore, a remarriage means more money for the individual spouses.
The court will probably consider whether the stepparent wishes to be involved, contributing part of their income to your children. If so, this could lower your child support payments.
You Have a New Baby
Child support is based on your income, and it is also based on the number of children you have. If you have a new mouth to feed, the court can consider this fact and change your child support payments.
If you’re having difficulty keeping up with child support, call us today at (407) 753-4111. We can review your situation, and we may be able to offer guidance on what you should do next. You may also schedule time with us using our online contact form.