There are several reasons a parent may need to request a modification of child support, but it is important that they follow the correct process. If they simply stop paying support, they can face serious consequences.
Reasons to modify
One of the most common reasons to request a change in child support is when the paying parent experiences a significant change in income, like a job loss or financial hardship, like bankruptcy. Also, if the paying parent is given more custody time with the child, they may request a decrease of support obligations.
If one parent moves or has a change in their cost of living, the court may agree to modify the child support amount. Also, when the child reaches the age of majority, the parent may not be required to pay support. Sometimes, if there are administrative errors on the order, that may require a change as well.
The parent who is requesting the modification must first show that there is a substantial change in circumstances. It’s helpful to gather information to support the request, like tax returns, pay stubs and other financial documents.
Then, they will need to file a petition in the same place where the original support order was granted and notify the other parent. Both parents will need to attend a hearing.
If the court approves the modification, it will issue a new court order with the new amount of support. If a parent does not follow the proper process, it can cause a delay or could result in penalties for nonpayment.