Child support payments are not cast in stone; you can modify them if you know what to do. Below are a few tips to help you modify your child support payments if there is a need.
Respect the Time Limits
In some states, you can't just modify the child support agreement or order any time you want. You must wait for some time to pass before you can execute a modification. The time limits vary by the state since child support issues are determined at the state level. The time limit may be as short as six months or as long as three years. The rationale is that it takes some time for a substantial change of circumstances to occur, and that needs to happen before child support can be modified.
Whether you are contemplating modifying your child support agreement or you have started the modifications, you need to continue making the current payments. Even if you have the most compelling reasons for the modifications, the current payments are in force until the court agrees on new amounts.
The government frowns on those who default on their child support payments. You don't want to be a defaulter by the time you come up for a modification hearing because that would put you in a bad light. Therefore, do your best to keep the payments current until you get the court's consent for the modification.
Get The Court's Approval
It is possible, and indeed advisable, to consult and negotiate with the other parent if you want to modify child support. This will save you the hustle, uncertainty, and resources associated with modifications that involve the court.
If you manage to come to an agreement with the other parent, don't forget to go to court and get the new agreement ratified. The court will scrutinize the agreement and confirm that it is good for the child's welfare. Don't just shake your hands over the agreement and assume everything is fine. No agreement is binding unless the court consents to it.
Support Your Claims
In many cases, those who seek to reduce their child support payments don't get the consent of the receiving parents. If you are in such a situation, then your best bet is to file a child support modification case with the court. In such a case, you need to be armed with evidence supporting the change in circumstances that has spurred the modification request. Examples of supporting evidence include medical records that show you unable to work as before and paystubs that prove reduced earnings.
To learn more about child support agreements, consult an attorney at a divorce law firm in your area.