Though many individuals may feel relieved when their divorce proceedings come to an end, you likely knew that you would continue to have a connection with your ex-spouse because you two had children together. Though the child custody and support arrangements worked in your favor, you may still worry about what the future might hold.
It is common for individuals' circumstances to change as the years go by. As a result, the arrangements that may have seemed useful and feasible when your divorce case initially ended may no longer work in the best interests of the children later on. These changes could result in the need to modify child support arrangements.
When can you seek a modification?
As the custodial parent, you may have various reasons to desire an increase in support payments. However, the court will not allow a modification simply because you want one. If any of the following factors apply, you may have a valid reason to petition the court for a change to the support terms:
- The other parent received a large inheritance or an increase in income that would make it possible for him or her to pay more in child support.
- You face additional financial responsibilities for your children as they get older, such as needing to pay for braces, after-school activities or other events.
- Your income decreased significantly, and now you need additional financial support to ensure that you have the ability to meet your children's needs.
Of course, the paying parent could also choose to request a modification in effort to decrease payment amounts. Some reasons for doing so include:
- The other parent faces a decrease in income that makes it difficult for him or her to meet the current payment amount owed each month.
- The other parent remarries, has more children or experiences another similar event that would result in him or her having additional family-related obligations, which could result in the need to lower current support payments in order to provide for the new family responsibilities.
Still, each family and each parent have unique circumstances that they face on a daily basis. As a result, you may have a different reason for needing to request a modification to the support agreement.
Asking the court
As mentioned, in efforts to obtain a modification, you would need to request a change from the court. Obtaining a modification is not easy, and if the court does not believe that circumstances have changed enough, it could deny a request. Fortunately, you can work with your legal counsel to assess your situation and determine what possible outcomes could result from a request for child support modification.