Whether you’re the “paying” parent or the “receiving” parent, your child support orders are not set in stone. Imagine your child contracted a serious and costly illness, for example. You might be able to file an appeal to the family law court to adjust your spouse’s child support payments to better reflect a fair reimbursement to cover the costs of your child’s illness.
Here are just a few circumstances in which a court might grant a request for a child support modification:
- You or your ex have experienced a substantial change in the amount of income you’re earning — either for better or for worse. If, for example, your ex is earning substantially more money, you might not need to pay him or her as much child support. Or, if you’re earning substantially more, your ex might demand an increase to the amount you owe.
- You contract a serious or debilitating medical condition that leaves you disabled and unable to work. If you can’t work and earn a living anymore, the court will not expect you to continue paying the same level of child support.
- Your child’s circumstances change. If your child — for any number of reasons — requires more or less money for his or her care, this could be a basis for a child support modification request.
Do you need to ask for a change in your child support payments? If granted, a court might approve either a permanent or temporary change to your child support arrangements. Before requesting such a modification, make sure you understand what kinds of factors courts consider when deciding a request like this.