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Are child support orders open to adjustments?

You and your former spouse went through the divorce process, and, in the end, a judge ordered you to supply financial support for your children. No big deal; you were expecting it. Now, months or years down the line, you've experienced a change in circumstances, so making that child support payment is not as easy as it once was. Is there anything you can do to reduce your obligation?

Believe it or not, you may adjust a child support order -- under the right circumstances. Wondering how you can do this?

Talk it out

There are two ways to seek a support order adjustment; the first is to negotiate a new agreement with your ex and then submit the agreed-upon changes to court for approval. Now, some parents can come to terms this way, but others can't. It does not work for everyone. Sometimes, going to court is necessary.

Official modification request

If talking things out with your ex doesn't get you anywhere, you can file an official modification request in court. A judge will not grant just any adjustment request. There has to be reason to do it. According to state laws, approved reasons for modifying a support order include:

  • Income change
  • Job loss
  • Incarceration
  • Parenting time adjustment
  • Child's needs have changed

There are a few others, but you get the gist. Unless the original order was less than the standard guideline amount, you must experience some change in circumstances if you wish to reduce the amount you have to pay.

Help figuring this out

Figuring out child custody is not always the easiest thing to do. The calculations can be tricky, and your ex may be pushing for more when you are not in a position to pay your current obligation. This is not a fight you have to go through alone.

With the assistance of an experienced family law attorney, you can fight for a child custody order that is fair and works with your current income level. If that ever changes, further help is available as you seek an order adjustment. While achieving a support modification can be difficult, it is not impossible. The court understands when the paying parent only has so much money to pass around. It is just necessary to prove that is actually the case before you start paying a lesser amount.

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William A. Feinberg 1928 - 2001

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