Child support is a contentious issue for a lot of couples who are going through a divorce. While most couples would probably agree that they’d prefer an uncontested, easy divorce process, when kids are involved, there is bound to be contention and stress. In a lot of cases, one party will feel they were unfairly treated in the final agreement, and many non-custodial parents are unhappy with the amount they are ordered to pay in child support. Other times, the custodial parent does not believe they are receiving enough. The money is intended to help the custodial parent cover costs related to caring for the child.
So what happens when the non-custodial parent believes that their payments are too high? They must file a request to modify the order. Never should a parent simply stop making payments. For one, the money is intended to help meet the child’s needs from providing him or her shelter to healthy meals. And failing to comply with a court order is a serious offense that may bring serious and lasting legal consequences to the individual. Those who are interested in modifying the order should always go about it in the right way and follow all necessary procedures. A lawyer should be consulted to make sure they are taking the correct steps.
A modification in a child support order may be obtained through the court. Remember, the court acts in the best interests of the child, but if there is a change in the financial situation of either party, an order modification may be obtained. A common modification request stems from unemployment. When a non-custodial parent loses his or her job, they must inform the child support office and seek a temporary modification until they find a new job. Keep in mind that they may actually owe whatever payments they miss once they find a new job. But this is better than being delinquent in their payments.
If one of the parents suffers a disability that affects their earning capacity and, therefore, ability to support the child, a modification may be sought. What’s more, if the child suffers an illness or medical condition requiring more care, a modification may be granted. Increases in the age of the child or the cost of living in the area may allow for a modification as well, as well as changes in specific costs related to the child—daycare, health insurance, etc.