The court generally advocates for stability in the life of a child and,
as such, is often reluctant to make changes to a child support order.
That said, there are numerous circumstances under which a judge might
increase or decrease a child support order. Generally, a drastic change
in circumstances is necessary for a judge to grant such a modification.
Here are some reasons why a court might consider and grant a modification
of child support:
Your income was reduced: If a parent loses his or her job or takes a pay cut as a result of a demotion,
that parent can request a modification of child support. If it is the
receiving parent, he or she would likely be able to obtain an increase
in child support payments. If the paying parent no longer has a job, the
court would likely grant a request to either eliminate or reduce his or
her payments. In some cases, the modification might be temporary until
the parent can find another job that allows him or her to continue making
the previously ordered child support payments.
Your child’s needs changed: As kids grow up, their needs change, sometimes requiring a change to the
child support order as well. If your child ends up partaking in extracurricular
activities after school that incurs added expenses, the child support
order might not be sufficient enough to cover them. If your child needs
braces or other orthodontic treatment, this could also end up getting
rather pricey. In such cases, an increase of child support can be requested
and the court will likely grant it.
Your take on new responsibilities: If you remarried and had more children, you will be taking on new responsibilities
and might not be able to continue making the payments that are expected
of you. In this case, you could make a request to have the child support
order reduced to accommodate these changes. If you are on the receiving
end, however, having additional children with a new spouse will not serve
as a valid reason for an increase in payments. Your former spouse is only
responsible for his or her child.
Your income increased: If your income substantially increased, your child support payments might
as well. It will not happen automatically, however. Your former spouse
would have to request a modification.
Any these modifications can be temporary or permanent. For example, if
your child needs something that will not be a recurring cost, an increase
in the child support order would likely only be temporary.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney to Discuss Your Case!
If you need a decrease or an increase in your
child support order, you need to have a skilled attorney on your side to help guide
you throughout the process and ensure the best possible results. At the
Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny, our team is committed to helping clients
navigate even the most complex family law matters.
Contact our law office today at (713) 936-2300 to request a case evaluation with
a knowledgeable member of our legal team.