There are multiple reasons why someone may want to modify a child support order. It’s not unusual for payers to seek child support reductions because of job loss or temporary layoffs. They may also file to modify when the custodial parent has come into a large amount of money and is better able to carry the costs of childcare.
In any case, timing is important when pursuing a modification of support, and it’s best to have a qualified attorney from the start.
Why Timing Matters When Modifying Child Support
Filing for a child support modification is a legal procedure that takes time and the amount of time it will actually take may vary depending on:
- the district;
- how crowded the courts are; and
- whether the paperwork is complete.
The sooner the modification documents are filed, the sooner the case can be processed. It’s in the filer’s best interests to file as soon as he or she learns of the changes that necessitate the modification; for example, as soon as one is laid off from his or her job or go on disability. This way, one can avoid going into arrears on child support for inability to pay.
While the modification may reduce payments from the time it’s approved, it will not provide a retroactive modification, meaning that if one is behind in child support he or she will need to pay what you owe. This is why it’s important to continue to make regular child support payments until the modification is approved.
Modifying child support can be complicated under some circumstances. Having an attorney may help make the process go more smoothly. An attorney can help clients understand the laws surrounding child support modification, and will make sure rights are acknowledged by the courts. A lawyer can also help greatly when one wants to get the documentation done and filed in an orderly, timely fashion.