If you are the custodial parent of your child, there is not guarantee that his or her expenses will not increase. In fact, it is very likely that your child's financial needs will increase as he or she ages. Fortunately, there is a possibility that you can ask for an increase in child support to help you meet your child's increasing financial needs.
Modification to Child Support Order
Some people mistakenly believe that once the child support order is in place, it is final. This is not necessarily true. In some instances, the court will agree to a modification of the order.
The request for a modification can be made by either parent. In this instance, as the custodial parent, there are certain requirements your request has to meet before a judge will agree to a change in the original order.
Change in Circumstances
In most states, there must be a change in circumstances that prompts the need for a modification to the court order. For instance, if your child has an increase in medical bills, this is considered an eligible requirement.
You can also ask for an increase in what you receive if the non-custodial parent has a substantial increase in income. What is consider to be substantial varies by state.
A change in circumstances might not include actions that you voluntarily took that has impacted your household's income. For instance, if you quit your job, you cannot automatically ask for an increase in child support.
The first step in getting a modification is to talk to the non-custodial parent. He or she might be willing to a modification. If so, you still need to go back to the court and get the approval of a judge.
Getting a court order that reflects the modification to the amount paid is important. If there is a question at a later date about the terms of the agreement, the court can refer to the modified order for guidance.
If the non-custodial parent does not agree with your request for the modification, talk to your family attorney. The attorney can file a modification request with the court and get a hearing scheduled to review your request.
During the hearing, you can present evidence documenting why you feel that an increase in child support is warranted.
Whether or not you want to request additional financial assistance from the non-custodial parent is a personal decision. Talk to an attorney (such as one from Cronk & Waterman PLC) before taking action to fully explore your options and the state's laws.