Child custody laws vary from state to state regarding child support. To ensure consistency across state lines, however, most judges will use the same guidelines when determining child support agreements. Typically these guidelines take into account the amount of disposable income available and required expenses such as health insurance or child care costs. Additionally, the amount of time the parent spends with the child will also be taken into consideration.
Once a base amount is determined, other factors may come into play if a child needs special educational or medical needs. The judge will then determine the amount of child support that is due each month.
The amount of child support due can change over time due to different circumstances. If the parent paying child support suddenly loses their job or gets a higher-paying promotion, for example, there may be cause to modify the child support order. If you need to change the support order, there are two ways to accomplish this. One way is to agree with the other parent regarding the amount of child support. The other way is to go through the courts to change the child support agreement officially.
A court-ordered child support modification may be pursued if the parents can’t agree or don’t generally communicate. For this to happen, you’ll have to file a written request with the court, asking if a modification is possible. You’ll need to explain in detail how your circumstances have changed and if you are undergoing financial hardship.
When the court looks at the request, they will determine if the circumstances have changed enough to warrant granting the request. While many circumstances can qualify, some of the most typical examples include:
- One of the parents has been sent to jail
- One of the parents are now disabled
- The child has developed special needs that were not present before, such as educational or medical services
- One of the parents unintentionally loses a job or a drastic decrease in income
- The parent who pays child support now has another child to support
- The amount of time spent with each parent has dramatically changed
- One of the parents gets a better paying job, with a higher disposable income
While it’s much easier to agree with the other parent regarding child custody modifications, it still needs to be reflected with a new court order. If you have questions about modifying your existing court order, make sure to contact an experienced child support lawyer Alameda CA from a law firm like AttorneyBernie.com to discuss your options.