There are many different facets to divorce, from the division of property to deciding how to handle new living arrangements. However, few details can be as confusing and likely to cause future disagreements with your ex-spouse as child support. Unlike other details within the divorce, child support payments may have to be changed as the children grow to accommodate their shifting needs. If you want to modify your child support agreements, there are several factors you may want to consider first.
1. Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you hired a lawyer for your divorce, you may be able to return to him or her for assistance. Explain why you need the modification and what you would like to change, as your attorney can advise you about your current rights and whether you will be able to ask for these modifications. If you do not yet have an attorney, it may be wise to retain one before you seek child support modification.
2. What Does My Divorce Decree Say?
When you filed for divorce, you likely created or signed a decree that outlines the terms of the split. The document’s contents can be an important factor in any child support modification request because it is likely you cannot change them without the approval of a judge. If your ex-spouse agrees to the modification, you may still have to attend court and explain to the judge why you are making the request.
3. Can I Make a Short-Term Request?
Unexpected circumstances may leave you with additional financial needs for your child, such as if you lose your job or become ill and cannot work. These types of emergencies may require you to ask for a child support modification, even if the terms are only temporary. If you are the ex-spouse agreeing to the changes, you may want to either get the terms in writing or return to court to ensure the temporary changes are noted.
4. What if I Do Not Agree with the Request?
If you are currently paying child support and believe your ex is asking for a modification without due cause, you may be able to request proof of need that he or she will submit to a judge. This may help protect you from unfair modification actions. Your lawyer can help you understand your rights as laid out in divorce guidelines for your state of residence.
Child support payment modifications are sometimes necessary, but you do not have to face the process alone. Reach out to an attorney, like a family attorney from The McKinney Law Group, today for further information and assistance.