Your child support payments have only increased in small increments due to inflation adjustments every two years. However, with news that your former spouse received a significant pay hike, you expect that will change. Child support modifications should be on the horizon.
A few factors come into play regarding child support modifications. Along with the previous-mentioned scenario, other types of situations that surface call for adjustments – whether an increase or a decrease – in child support payments. Life circumstances come into play regarding child support modifications. And we know that a parent’s income plays a significant role in determining child support.
Income changes, additional child needs
A reassessment of child support agreements should take place regularly. While financial situations may change among parents, the needs and best interests of the child remain. There is no wavering on that last part.
Here are some of the reasons that child support modifications occur:
- A drop in income: A job loss stings. If a parent loses his or her job, he or she will struggle to make the court-ordered payments. During the times of COVID-19, many people have lost their jobs. And, sometimes, the person winds up accepting a job with a significant pay cut. These are times when modifications are in order.
- A boost in income: A job promotion or position with a new company usually means a significant pay raise. That spouse will have to pony up to provide his or her fair share of child support. And if a parent attempts to hide that pay raise, it only hurts the child.
- Continuing changes in a child’s needs: As your child grows, expenses typically grow, too. For example, school and medical needs surface. School activity fees for sports and arts clubs and the cost of braces are additional expenses that may not be properly covered in an original child support agreement.
- The emergence of a permanent disability: This may happen to either parent or even the child. A serious and permanent injury likely hinders a parent’s earning ability, and he or she may no longer be able to work. A serious injury to a child could lead to constant medical care.
Significant changes in the lives of parents and children often lead to modifications in child support. Make sure to revisit this agreement.