When can you modify an existing child support obligation?


On behalf of Roncone Law Offices, P.C. | June 18, 2020 | Family Law


There’s no doubt that raising a child is expensive. Those parents who find themselves bearing the sole responsibility for raising their child can face very real financial challenges. While child support payments from a noncustodial parent might help offset these costs, the truth of the matter is that these payments are often insufficient. One reason is because noncustodial parents rarely offer up more money than they are ordered to provide through an order of the court. What does that mean for you? It means that you need to be prepared to seek child support modification when it’s right for you and your child.


When can you seek a child support modification?

 There are a number of things that can justify a . For example, an increase in health insurance costs may warrant a modification. However, child support can be modified any time there is a material and substantial change in circumstances. What does that mean? It means anything that affects either the noncustodial parent’s ability to pay child support and/or an increase or decrease in the child’s needs. So, if a noncustodial parent suddenly gets a much higher paying job, then the custodial parent might have good reason to a seek modification to secure a larger child support payment.


It’s important to note that modification can work both ways. If a noncustodial parent is laid off of his or her job, for example, then he or she could seek modification to lessen or even temporarily halt his or her support obligation. So it’s important that those who are seeking modification one way or the other have strong arguments to demonstrate that the change in circumstances is substantial and material.


Building your case for modification

Child support modification isn’t automatic. If you think that a modification is needed, then it’s on you to file for modification in court and make the arguments needed to support your position. This means that you’ll need evidence, an understanding of the law, and an ability to make persuasive arguments. If you think that you could benefit from assistance in that regard, then it might be time to discuss your case with an experienced family law attorney.


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