If there’s one thing you can predict in life, it’s unpredictability. While you can have an idea of what the future - near or distant - will entail, you never know what new hurdle is waiting for you around the corner. Divorced parents who are awarded child custody often rely heavily on the child support payments they receive from the non-custodial parent. But since child support payment amounts are agreed upon at the time of the divorce, there’s no guarantee that the amount will be enough to support the children 5 or 10 years later. Fortunately, a custodial parent who feels that his or her current child support agreement doesn’t cover the expenses of raising the children may petition the court for a payment modification.
When deciding whether a custodial parent should be awarded additional child support, the court wants to see proof of why the children need more money now than they did at the time of the divorce. There are many factors a custodial parent can point to in order to provide sufficient reason for the increase. Some of those factors include:
- The custodial parent’s income has substantially decreased by no fault of his or her own
- A child has extraordinary needs, such as medical or special education expenses
A custodial parent may also request an increase if the non-custodial parent’s income has substantially increased since the support agreement was made, as the courts in most states believe that it is in the best interest of the child to have reasonably equal living circumstances when staying at either parent’s home.
When a custodial parent needs additional child support, it’s important for him or her to do so through the court system, rather than by way of a separate verbal agreement with the non-custodial parent. Even if the request for an increase in payments is not met with contention by the non-custodial parent, it’s in the best interest of both parties if the parameters of a new agreement are outline and made official by the court.
If you’re a custodial parent who needs more money to raise your children, I’m here to help. With more than 30 years of experience as a family law attorney, I know what it takes to modify your child support agreement as smoothly and quickly as possible. Contact me today for a free consultation!