Requesting a Child Support Modification
A father or mother can request a child support reduction (or modification). In todays economy, it is not uncommon for this to happen due to the tough economy with people being laid off, accepting pay reductions or being underemployed. Therefore, a family law attorney will be your best option to assist you in securing a child support modification. It is important to keep in mind that many modifications of child support are closely linked to child custody and visitation modifications as well.
Change in Parent's Visitation
Child support modifications may be warranted when one parent's visitation plans change. It is not uncommon, as an example, for a child to 1.) spend more time with the non-custodial parent due to school, extra-curricular activities, location or other reasons or 2.) to spend more time with the custodial parent because one is in the military and leaving overseas.
As a result, the parent paying child support may request a reduction modification for the child support or in the latter case, an increase. Cases involving a parent being deployed overseas do have different variables to consider so it is best to have a consultation with a child support attorney.
Modifications for Loss of Employment
A support modification may also be justified if one parent incurs an involuntary loss of income or becomes handicapped. Note: a parent cannot solely leave a job, simply to decrease their child support obligation. Moreover, seasonal jobs do not normally become a factor when were already considered into the original support agreement.
Limit to Number of Modifications
Each parent has the right to request as many child support modifications orders as it is necessary until the child becomes 18 years old, or more in specific states that provide financial support for expenses in college. In summary, if you believe the present support order is not adequate, it is important to file a modification as soon as possible and get it done properly by using an attorney.
Do Not Accept Informal Reductions
A very common error parents make when it comes to adjusting the support are undocumented agreements for the amount of support to be paid. For illustration purposes, a parent loses their job involuntarily and starts having trouble keeping up with his or her bills, the parent who has custody tells them they can pay a lower amount each month until they are back on their feet.
If there is a heated dispute between the two parents, the parent receiving child support can still demand and enforce the original court order, including previous months that were below the original amount, all because nothing was ever approved by the court to reduce the monthly support. Moreover, child support arrears (past due payments) collect interest at a rate of 10% annually and there is no statute of limitations pursuant to California law. It cannot be discharged by filing bankruptcy either.
Get a Family Law Attorney
Due to state specific requirements involved in child support, parents can greatly benefit from the advice from an
experienced family law attorney when child support issues arise.
Child support and custody are two of the most disagreeable items in the majority of divorce cases.
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