Divorce will bring significant financial changes to your life, and these changes do not always stop simply because the divorce is final. If you find yourself unable to manage the terms of your child support obligations, it might be possible to secure necessary changes to your order. Modifications are not always easy to secure, but you may find it beneficial to learn more about your options.
Seeking a modification is only possible in certain situations. You cannot seek a modification simple because you want to pay less money or you want more. There must be clear evidence that a change is necessary. If you believe this is the right step for you as a Louisiana parent, it is smart to learn about your rights and understand how to prepare to request a change to your support order.
What is a valid reason for a support order modification?
When a court orders child support payments, it makes the decision based on factors that include the child’s needs, the income of the parents and future earning potential. There are many reasons why your financial circumstances could change, but needing to alter the terms of your support order does not mean you do not want to support your child.
Many parents are able to come to a verbal agreement on child support adjustments, but it is smart to take steps to ensure these changes are valid and legally enforceable. Disputes and complications can lead to problems with verbal agreements. You may need to know the following about modifications:
- You have the right to seek a hearing with a family law judge regarding your modification. You will have to present evidence that a change is necessary.
- If your current financial difficulties are temporary, it is possible to seek only a temporary modification to a support order.
- Valid reasons for a modification to a support order include job loss, remarriage, disability of one parent or a change in the child’s needs.
A non-custodial parent has the right to seek to lower payments if necessary, and the custodial parent has the right to seek additional support if circumstances require it.
Understanding your family law options
As with any type of family law matter, it is beneficial to seek a full understanding of your rights and options before you move forward with an important decision. Whether you are seeking additional support or you need to reduce your payments because of financial circumstances, it is always smart to seek guidance.