Child custody and support matters do not necessarily end when the judge issues their final order. You and your child’s other parent will likely be handling custody and support issues until you child reaches the age of majority. As your child grows older, your circumstances or their needs may change. In some cases, those changes are so drastic that a change to child support is necessary. Changing, or modifying, child support is not a simple matter. The law requires that certain criteria be met before a judge will change a previous support order. If you are concerned that your child’s needs are not being met through the current order, you may want to pursue modification. Likewise, you want to explore modification if your situation has changed and you are unable to pay child support.
The Support Modification Process
Once the judge’s final child support order takes effect, the order automatically becomes eligible for review every three years. This does not necessarily mean that the case will start right back up again in court after three years. Rather, this rule means that a parent can request the judge review the support order after three years have passed.
Of course, a lot can change in three years. In economically unstable times, many parents are faced with job loss, and thus a substantial and prolonged salary cut. Or, your child’s needs may change due to a medical condition or other circumstance. If the non-custodial parent experiences a significant change to their income, they can request support modification. If the child’s needs have significantly changed, a parent may request modification.
The petitioning parent, that is the parent requesting the change to support, is responsible for proving the need for modification. If your income is substantially different than when the original support order was issued, you must prove such change to the court. Your child’s other parent has a legal right to respond to your petition. He or she may try to show the court that changes to your income will not prevent you from paying your current support obligation. Child support modification cases can lead to more litigation, so you should consult with an experienced Schaumburg family law attorney before requesting a change to the support order.
A custodial parent can also request a modification in the event the child’s needs significantly change. For example, your child may develop a health issue that leads to extraordinary medical costs not factored into the original support calculation. If you initiate the modification process for this reason, you must be able to prove an increase in child support is necessary.
Our Schaumburg Support Modification Lawyers Can Help
Are you worried about being unable to pay child support? Do you believe the original support order in your case needs to be changed? If so, contact Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. right away to discuss your case. Our child support lawyers have helped countless clients throughout the Schaumburg area handle support modification. We are dedicated to providing each client vigorous legal representation and practical legal advice. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.