4 Strategies for Modifying Child Support Payments
When you and your spouse divorce and children are involved, part of the process will likely include the establishment of child support payments. Depending on your state of residence, the courts will use local guidelines for calculating the payment amount. However, there may come a time when you wish to modify the payments you make. This can be a puzzling process, but there are a few strategies you can use to lower or change your child support costs.
1. Hire a Lawyer
Contacting a lawyer about your child support payments can help you explore options for modification. For example, if your life circumstances have changed due to injury or a loss of income, a lawyer can represent your best interests if you must return to court. An attorney can also advise you about which circumstances allow for modification and which do not, such as if you voluntarily quit your job.
2. Notify Your Ex-Spouse
Before you attempt to modify your child support payments, you may want to speak to your former spouse about your intentions. Remaining honest could help maintain a cordial relationship so you can continue to co-parent in a way that is beneficial to your children. If you have difficulty communicating with your ex, then you may want to ask your lawyer if arbitration might be helpful in expressing your desire to lower or change your child support payments.
3. Pay What You Can
Making whatever payments you can while you work to modify the monthly amount may show your good intentions to both your former spouse and the courts. Pay half the cost if possible, or split the amount up into several payments per month. Doing all you can to support your kids during a change in your finances may prevent costly arrears resulting from delinquency.
4. Prove Your Ex-Partner’s Income Increase
If your ex remarries, cohabitates with someone who provides support for your children, or gets a new job with a pay increase, you may be able to take him or her back to court to prove it. If you decide to choose this route, then working with a lawyer may be especially helpful because it is usually not a simple process. You may want to act as soon as possible, particularly if you believe your ex will try to hide the extra income from the courts.
Modifying your child support payments can be a difficult and sometimes confusing process, but there is help available. Contact a lawyer, like a child support lawyer from Pioletti, Pioletti, & Nichols Attorneys at Law, today for further information and assistance.