Paying child support is a legal responsibility that you have to help support the financial needs of your children when they do not live with you full-time. Child support amounts depend on many different factors, from your personal income to how much you and the custodial parent make together. Because these factors are always changing, there will be times you may need to modify or change the amount of child support you pay.
Here are four common reasons you may need to speak to a lawyer and change your child support payment.
1. You Lose Your Job
Losing your job does not cancel out any child support that you owe, but it is a major factor in modifying the amount you pay. A judge will take into account any past-due child support owed, whether your job loss is temporary (you got laid off) or permanent, and how much money the custodial parent makes. Your lawyer can help you modify child support to where it is more comfortable for you to pay and can even help in getting your new payment amount backdated to when you first lost your job.
2. You Receive a Raise
Once the other parent knows you’ve received a raise at work, they may wish to modify child support so they can gain a higher amount in pay each month. You want to perform the modification process before they do so accurate information can be filed and you can pay a fair amount based on your new income. Keep in mind that if you are also paying health insurance and daycare costs for children who don’t live with you, there’s a chance your child support payments will only go up a little bit.Talk to your lawyer about your circumstances. In most cases it is best to file for modification during a pay raise so you can pay what is fair for your children. Bring proof of other needs you are solely paying for your children with you to your consultation, as these factors are taken into effect when pay raises are addressed.
3. Your Ex Starts Working
Most states factor in a minimum wage income for the custodial parent, even if they are not working, to offset the costs of child rearing the non-custodial parent pays. This is to ensure you are not paying for 100% of their needs. If your child’s other parent has recently started working, you will want to include their new income into the child support calculations so you can possibly reduce payments.Your lawyer will help you prove the custodial parent’s income and will work to draw up a new child support payment based on the system your state uses. In many cases, these modifications can be settled out of court, which saves both parents money.
4. One or More of Your Children Live With You
Child support won’t automatically be reduced when your child moves in with you unless you have filed for custody modification. If you are on agreeable terms with your ex-spouse and have proof that your child lives with you, you should modify your child support so you aren’t paying any money to your ex while your child is actually in your care.It is best to talk to a lawyer with experience in child custody and child support modifications so you can make sure you are paying a fair amount. Trust the experts at the Law Office of Cicily Simms to address your financial situation legally and fairly. Our staff is ready to help you tackle any child support modification needs so the needs of your children are best met.