If you have a reason to modify child support, you may assume you can just head on over to the court house, file some paperwork, and be done. While it could be this simple in theory, most cases are not settled quite so quickly. The last thing you want to do is put your children through more hassle, but if you need to modify the agreement, you have to do so. The following are some reasons to hire a lawyer for assistance.
Presenting the Request
The parent who requests the modification for child support will need to present that request to the court. This is generally done by filing a form that details the life-changing events that lead to this modification. Perhaps someone got married, lost a job, or got a raise. All of these things could change the amount of child support. A court can determine how big of an impact they have on the original amount.
Your lawyer can help you figure out which documents need to be filed and when. Both parents will need to provide proof of financial status and your lawyer can assist you in collecting all the right documents for that as well. You wouldn’t want to miss anything, because it could hinder the case.
Everyone’s lives change without them planning on it. When you look back on the time you first entered into the custody agreement to now, you’ll realize there were some changes that took place. It’s important that you document those changes so they can be submitted for the court to review. Your lawyer will know what needs to be documented so you can present that.
For example, if you are the non-custodial parent and have been making large child support payments but your ex-spouse has been dropping the kids off at your house more and more often, you are probably going to have higher expenses. Just having the children around will increase utility bills, food costs, and other expenses. Document all the times you took care of your kids that were not your regular visitation hours.
On the other hand, you could be the custodial parent and have been receiving child support payments. Perhaps your ex-spouse hasn’t seen the children for months because he or she has been busy otherwise. You should document every time the other parent misses out on visitation, as this could be a reason to increase support.
Getting Started with Your Lawyer
As you can see, there are some complexities involved with modifying a child support agreement. If you’re considering a modification, contact a lawyer today.