After the dust settles in the wake of a divorce, you may fall slowly into your new normal. Over time, while the negative emotions that your divorce elicited may lower, the cost of raising your children may skyrocket. Children are expensive, and as they grow, it seems like the costs do the same. What happens if the child support you are receiving isn’t enough? In a post-decree situation, your state may have requirements for what constitutes a change in child support amount. Discover a general overview of the process, and then find out what your state laws say.
A Change in Circumstance
Before the state or a court grants you an adjustment to child support, you must provide evidence of a change. This evidence may come in the way of a job loss, pay cut, or an increase in expenses. For example, if your child was diagnosed with a chronic medical condition that requires medication and frequent doctor visits, you may need your ex to chip in more. Even though your decree may talk about how one spouse should reimburse the other for medical expenses, with a chronic one, it is best to get an official adjustment to account for it.
A change in circumstance may also be that your income has gone down, through no fault of your own. This doesn’t mean you should go out and quit your job or take an inferior position to get more child support. It means you must suffer a layoff or demotion. The change must have already occurred and be ongoing for some time. Again, this will all be better defined under your state laws.
The Modification Process
Many states have clearinghouses that handle child support processing and matters. You may be able to petition the state for a change in child support. This way takes a strict stance on the way the laws work and how support is modified. Going this route may take more time, and you can only do it this way if your payments are made by wage assignment. If your former spouse pays you directly, you will have to go through the court. When doing this, you may want to consider getting an attorney to help you along. Even if you believe you don’t need a lawyer, having one through any modification process is always better.