Once the judge finalizes the child support order in a divorce settlement, the order is not set in stone. In some cases, the judge may be able to reassess your case and change the amount of child support due each month. At the Law Offices of Lisa Stern, we know that changes in life occur, and that modification of a child support order may be necessary. There are, however, certain regulations that must be followed before you can be approved for this change.
Either parent may file for a modification if there has been a recent change in circumstances. This may involve a parent being demoted or fired from their job, resulting in a substantial decrease in finances. A parent may become incarcerated or experience some other event that leaves them unable to make their child support payments.
If you wish to file for a modification, you can do so through a Friend of the Court or through the court. If you are on public assistance, the FOC will review your case automatically every 36 months. You will need to provide documentation, including recent paycheck stubs, state and federal income tax returns and any additional information that the FOC can use to make a more educated decision.
The most important thing to keep in mind when modifying a child support amount is the best interests of the children involved. Even when a parent experiences financial difficulties, the child still requires support for daily care, education, child care and medical care.
To learn more about child support modification, visit our page on child support.