WHAT IS A COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT CLAUSE?
When parents choose to split up, a child support order dictates just how much and how often one parent pays for the ongoing needs of the child. The amount of child support in each payment varies from case to case, depending on the needs of the child and the resources of the parent given the order. However, as any parent can tell you, a child’s needs evolve constantly, and the overall cost of living in California is rarely static either.
One of the primary concerns of parents who receive child support payments is often understanding how to make sure that the child support payments can change if the needs of the child change or the cost of living increases. There are a few ways to approach this. One of the most useful is a Cost Of Living Adjustment clause (COLA clause). When a child support order contains such a clause, the amount of child support increases or decreases according to fluctuations in the cost of living where you live with the child.
An experienced attorney can help you explore other ways that you can build specific provisions into a child support agreement that allows child support to adjust if the needs of the child change drastically. In many instances, a judge may allow for a regular reassessment of the terms of the support, such as every two years. If support does not cover the needs of the child appropriately, a judge may adjust the payments during this reassessment period. Be sure that you have all the help you need to address your child support concerns and make sure that the child you love receives the support he or she needs while your rights remain protected.
Source: Findlaw, “Child Support Modification FAQ,” accessed Oct. 11, 2017