When it comes to child support arrangements, even the most well-though out plan may prove unfeasible over time, requiring a modification. Unpredictable life events such as sickness, loss of income or change in marital status of your spouse may affect their ability to pay you the agreed child support, at which point a modification may be needed.
A verbal agreement between the two parents is often best, as it saves money on legal fees and a drawn-out court battle, but if you can't agree on new child support payments, you may have to hire a family law attorney to help you with a child support modification suit:
Reasons to seek a child support increase
If you are the custodial parent, you may seek an increase in child support payments from your spouse if your children's needs increase. As children grow, they may require more money for educational purposes, need braces or other similar requirements that would necessitate increased funding.
Medical emergencies, disability of the child or other medical-related issues might also warrant the need for additional child support. Cost-of-living increases or age-related expenses are also acceptable grounds for a child support increase.
If you discover that your partner has had a significant increase in income - say due to a promotion at work or a large inheritance - you may also be able to petition a court to increase their child support payments. A family lawyer can help you prove that a substantial change in circumstances occurred, entitling you to receive more from your spouse in child support.
Make it official
Litigating child support agreements could take an emotional and financial toll on both parties, which is why it would be best to reach an agreement out of court. Methods such as mediation are available to help parents agree on a new child support arrangement. However, should reaching an agreement prove difficult, you may have to take the matter before a judge.
In case you reach a verbal or written agreement with your spouse on a new child support amount, you should seek court approval for the new amount and a new order reflecting changes in the child support payments.
Failure to do so would mean that the original support order remains in effect and the court would not be able to act on your verbal arrangement should you require help in collecting missed payments. Modifying your child support order is usually as simple as just filing the required forms and submitting them to a family court. To learn more, or if you have other questions, contact a company like The Law Offices of John G. McGill, Jr. for help.