Child support is not meant to be a burden. It should be based on reasonable expenses, and it should be about the same amount you would spend if you lived with them.
Even so, some people find it hard to keep up with their payments. This not only causes financial problems like debt, but it also results in legal issues. The good news is this: You can have your child support payments modified if your reasons are justifiable.
Here are some possible scenarios that might be the cause of expensive child support payments. If any of these examples apply to you, you can appeal for a lower payment.
There Is Something Wrong with the Original Order
Both parents pay child support. One does so by living with the kids, spending the money directly on them. The other supplements those expenses. The court should consider each parent’s income and the kids’ needs when making a support ruling.
If your payments have always been too high, something isn’t adding up properly. Spend some time with an attorney. They can help you review the original ruling and find mistakes that need fixing. Then, they can help you take that ruling back to court and argue for a more reasonable payment.
You Experienced a Significant Life Change
These days, people go through more changes and phases in their lives. It’s common for someone’s income to drop through no fault of their own. Other circumstances can put a strain on their income, even when it hasn’t changed.
Here are some life changes that warrant a child support modification.
If you get laid off or demoted, through no fault of your own, you have a reasonable argument for a child support modification. However, if your job loss or demotion is due to poor performance, it may be much harder to convince the court to lower your payments.
Furthermore, the court must believe that this change is semi-permanent. Someone with an advanced degree in a high-demand field, for instance, might not be able to receive a payment adjustment.
You Have Another Child
Child support is based on the total number of children you have, and it isn’t concerned about who the other parent is. Even if you have a child with someone new, this change should affect the court’s ruling on child support.
Other Income Changes
Perhaps you have money tied into investments, and those investments crash. Maybe you suffer an injury, affecting your ability to work. Changes in your income that aren’t your fault are often grounds for a child support modification.
Changes in the Other Parent’s Life
Here’s some more good news. If your child’s second parent experiences significant life changes, you could be eligible for a child support modification. If they remarry, get a higher-paying job, or have another experience that increases their income, they may not need as much money for child support.
Remember, however, that they can also make similar claims when you experience positive changes. If you get a better job, for instance, the other parent could reasonably ask for more from you in child support.
Russell S. Hershkowitz, L.L.C. is here to help you navigate the complex world of child support negotiations and modifications. For a free consultation, you can schedule time with us online or call us at (407) 753-4111.