Divorce can be a very messy process. Perhaps even more so for spouses who had children together and now must discuss which spouse has to pay child support and for how much. Whether you and your soon-to-be ex spouse decided child support amongst yourselves or a family court judge imposed it, you can request modification if circumstances have changed. The adjustment can be short-term or permanent, depending on the situation and what caused the need for modification.

If you are a divorcing spouse and need assistance for a child support dispute, then it’s advised that you speak with a lawyer, like a child support lawyer from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols, right away. 

How Child Support Is Imposed

For most states, once parents separate, negotiating child support occurs and is considered a component of the divorce process. Based on the state you live in, laws may necessitate child support until that child is over the age of 18. In the eyes of the court, the child deserves to have the same degree of support as if the parents are still together.

During the hearing, both parents have to showcase their side and bring forward supportive evidence as to what outcome they believe is fair for child support. The judge will then consider both sides and decide what will be in the best interest of the child, keeping in mind how much each parent earns per year.

Requesting Modification of Child Support

After the child support hearing has concluded, there may come a time when one of the parent’s circumstances has drastically changed. They may request modification of child support until things have returned to normal. The parent seeking a change must remember that they will need to present a serious reason for the modification. Here are reasons that are often deemed legitimate by the court: 

  • Substantial decrease in income. One of the parents may have lost their job, so they could be unable to meet certain obligations regarding the child. For example, the paying spouse may not have enough money to pay child support until they find a new job and need a temporary decrease. Or, the receiving spouse may need an increase in financial support from the paying spouse, until they have obtained employment. 
  • The child’s needs have changed. As children get older, they often have more needs. The child may require medication for an illness or injury, braces for dental health, or funds to participate in hobbies or sports. The recipient spouse may request the paying spouse for additional financial support, so the growing and changing interests of the child can be met. 
  • The paying spouse was injured or diagnosed with an illness. If the paying spouse was in a car crash, workplace accident, or another kind of incident, then they may not have the funds to continue payments until they recover because of medical bills. The court may approve a child support decrease or halt the payments (temporarily or permanently) depending on the circumstances of the injury or illness. 

Contact an attorney today to help sort out everything necessary in child support modification.