Child support matters aren’t always easy to work through. This is one reason why many parents would rather just let the child support terms remain the same as long as possible; however, there are some cases in which the child support order becomes outdated or impossible to comply with. When this occurs a child support modification might be in order.

A child support modification is an event that usually won’t happen often over the course of a child’s life. Typically, it would only occur if the circumstances of a parent change or if the child’s needs change dramatically. In those cases, one parent can file a petition to have the order changed. If you are the paying parent and can’t pay, be sure to file as soon as possible. Gather supporting documentation so that you have everything ready to show why the modification is necessary.

Some examples of circumstances that might require a child support modification include the paying parent losing a job or the child going to live with the parent who is currently paying child support. Other circumstances are also possible, so check the court’s guidelines to determine if your case qualifies for a modification.

There are two ways that a new child support order can come about. The first is that you and your ex can work together to agree to new terms. These terms must be in line with what is considered for child support, so be sure you understand what specific requirements apply to your case.

The second way to get new terms outlined in the order is to present both sides of the matter in court and let the judge decide on the new terms. This method is likely going to take longer to get the resolution than what would happen if you and your ex can work together.

Source: FindLaw, “Child Support Modification Tips,” accessed Dec. 09, 2016