An Advocate In Family Law Cases

Can child support be modified?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2024 | Child Custody & Support

Suppose your child’s other parent is legally obligated to pay you child support every month. These payments are supposed to help you fulfil the kids’ day-to-day needs. So, what happens when your circumstances change and the child support amount initially agreed upon is no longer sufficient? Perhaps one of the children’s healthcare costs has changed because they’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or you’ve lost your job and your financial capacity has been compromised.

Can you request the court to modify the child support agreement? The answer is yes. The court can recalculate the child support while considering the changes in your circumstances.

A change in the custody arrangement

For you to petition the family court to modify the initial child support order, you have to demonstrate a change in the custody arrangement or a significant shift in your circumstances. Custody arrangements can change if the time the kids spend with your co-parent reduces. Perhaps they had to relocate further away from the kids’ primary residence due to a job transfer.

Their relocation can prevent them from spending as much time with the kids as they used to. This means that your responsibilities as the primary caregiver would increase. As such, you can ask the court to increase the child custody payments so you can better manage the kids’ basic needs.

A significant change in circumstances

You might be wondering what qualifies as a significant change in circumstances. Well, suppose your co-parent gets a job promotion that drastically increases their income; this can qualify as a significant change in circumstances. As one of the parents of the kids, they’re more financially capable than they were when the initial custody order was enforced. As such, you can ask the court to increase their child support payments to reflect their current financial position.

Another notable change in circumstances can be one of the kids being diagnosed with a long-term illness or disability. Such a diagnosis would naturally increase the affected child’s medical expenses. You might also request child support modification if one of the kids gets enrolled into a private school whose fees are significantly higher than the rest of the kids’.

Suppose you’re struggling to cater to your kids’ basic needs due to a change in custody arrangements or a significant change in circumstances; don’t shy away from petitioning for a child support modification. With the appropriate legal guidance, you can work to secure the financial support you need to provide the kids with a suitable living environment.