In New Orleans and across Louisiana, people’s finances and employment can fluctuate. That is especially true with the current nationwide challenges, medical expenses, many businesses experiencing a decline in income and outright job loss. Those who are paying for or receiving child support as part of a family law case could suddenly find themselves unable to make the payments as ordered. A change in circumstances could warrant a child support order being modified. When seeking such a modification, it is important remember certain points.
Knowing when a child support modification will be considered
When thinking about requesting that child support be modified, there are fundamental aspects that must be in place before moving forward. First, the order must have been put into effect or changed more than three years before the new request. Next, there must be a difference between the order and the current guidelines of 25%. Finally, there must be a material and substantial change in the person’s circumstances since the previous order was made.
The last part might be confusing, but it is not that complicated. If a parent has had an increase or decrease in income, there was a change to the child’s medical coverage or there was a custody change, it meets the criteria to be a material and substantial change in circumstances. Once the request to modify the order has been made, the following information must be provided: the parents’ income; how much it costs in child care; or if there are other expenses to cover like health insurance, education, transportation and excess medical costs.
Knowing how to request a child support modification is vital
It is important to remember that a child support modification can be viewed from the perspective of the paying parent and the receiving parent. A mistake parents often make is getting into a dispute with the other parent or trying to settle the matter on their own. This has the potential for acrimony and might make the relationship worse while depriving the child of what he or she needs to thrive. From the start, it is useful to have guidance with the process. This is true for people who have vast assets and those of lesser means. Consulting with professionals who are aware of how to request and get a child support modification is a wise first step.