IS YOUR CHILD SUPPORT OR CUSTODY PLAN NO LONGER FEASIBLE?
When you divorce and a court issues an order regarding child custody and support, you and your ex are legally obligated to adhere to its terms. If you are paying child support, you are responsible for making every payment on time as well as adhering to the rest of the terms the court issued in your co-parenting plan. Does this mean, however, that everything is set in stone and you can never change the way you do things?
The answer depends on the specific circumstances of your situation. The court may grant a modification of your existing support order, but only if certain criteria are met. First, you must make the proper type of request in court. The judge overseeing your case will review your request and decided whether to approve a modification. Unless that happens, you must adhere to the terms of the existing order.
Valid reasons for a modification
Maybe your financial situation has changed and you want to take a break from making full child support payments every month. This may or may not be possible, depending on the facts and whether the court thinks your circumstances warrant a change. The following are common reasons for modifying child support:
- The paying parent loses his or her job.
- The paying parent still has a job but experiences a significant decrease in income.
- The non-paying parent has an increase in income.
- You or the other parent is relocating.
- You’ve had a medical emergency resulting in a financial crisis.
Adapting to a new lifestyle after divorce is typically a lot easier if things are going well regarding child support and custody issues. Problems may arise that you and your co-parent can resolve through amicable discussion. If you’re both willing to compromise and cooperate for the sake of your kids, you can likely overcome most minor issues. If, however, a more serious issue is harming your relationship with your children or is somehow undermining your parental rights, you can seek the court’s intervention to help get things back on track.