When Can Child Support Obligations Be Modified?

Generally speaking, the family legal system recognizes that certain rights and responsibilities within every American family tend to change over time. Similarly, the needs of minor children within any given family necessarily change as those children grow. As a result of this reality, the courts allow child custody arrangements to be modified when modifications are warranted by a significant change in circumstance and/or are in the best interests of the children affected by any given child custody order. But what about child support? Do child support obligations become legally modifiable as the circumstances of any particular family ebb and flow?

The answer to this question is complex and depends on a variety of circumstances. For this reason, it tends to be a good idea for parents with questions about child support to speak with an experienced legal professional instead of making assumptions about their situation one way or the other. If you have questions about the ways in which your family’s circumstances may affect your child support obligations and/or child support payments, please consider scheduling a consultation with our firm. Once we learn the details of your family’s situation, we will be able to advise you of your options and provide you with experienced support and guidance.

Modifications: Child Support Order Considerations

Generally speaking, child support orders can be modified in two distinct ways. First, if a child’s parents voluntarily agree to modify a support order (and that modification meets certain legal minimums and other criteria), a court is likely to honor that modification. By contrast, if one parent wants a modification and the other does not, that modification must be formally requested and ruled upon by the court. Such modifications are only generally granted when a significant change in a family’s circumstances and/or child’s needs warrant this action.

What kinds of circumstances lead to modifications? Most of the time, voluntary changes in employment status, remarriage of one or both parents and the birth of additional children do not tend to lead to court-ordered modifications. However, there are always exceptions to such general rules. Sudden, significant disability that impacts the ability of a parent to work, a child’s significant medical problems and/or other involuntary changes in financial status may warrant a court-ordered modification.

Child Support Guidance Is Available

Speaking with us about your situation will not force you to take any legal action whatsoever. We simply want to ensure that your questions are answered and your decisions are informed. There are often legal solutions to child support challenges that are not widely discussed or understood. It is possible that we can help guide you through a seemingly insurmountable child support problem with relative ease. Once we understand your family’s situation, we will be able to advise you of your legal options. So, please consider scheduling a consultation today. We look forward to speaking with you.