20 Apr When Can You Petition to Increase Child Support Payments?
Raising a child is an intense experience. Physically, emotionally and financially demanding, bringing up your children can be very difficult to do without the proper support. Because of this, child support laws were put in place to ensure both parents bare as equal a financial responsibility as possible. By legally demanding that any non-custodial parent still pulls their own load, you can help guarantee that the child will be in a stable financial situation. Without that stability, children are the ones that ultimately suffer.
Learning to live with the child support you have been assigned can be a battle of its own accord. With the many financial burdens that come along with raising a child, you have to plan out every penny you have now as well as the income you will have down the line. Feeding, educating and saving up for your child’s future is something every responsible parent sees as their number one priority.
Unfortunately, the financial situations of individuals are not set in stone and are subject to frequent and drastic changes. When changes in either the custodial or non-custodial guardian’s income (or the expenses in raising a child) occur, it is commonplace that a petition for an increased child support payment is filed. Every parent involved in the equation shares an equal burden in the child’s well-being.
There are many various reasons a change in child support may be needed. It is important, however, to research whether a court would see your reasoning as worthy (in terms of the severity of the financial change) of an increase in payments before filing a petition against the non-custodial guardian. Doing the proper research will save you hours of frustratingly chasing a dead end legal case.
Hiring an attorney specializing in custody cases and family law will help assure that you only petition for increased child support when you have a good likelihood of receiving it. Additionally, child custody and support laws differ from state to state, and even sometimes county to county. Securing someone with the local know-how and experience to guide your family through these trying times is essential to your family’s future happiness.
Despite the state and county you may be in, there are three circumstances that almost always warrant an increase in child support payments from the non-custodial guardian. If you have experienced or expect you will experience any of the situations you are about to read about in the near future, it is highly recommended that you meet with a child custody attorney as soon as possible. Your financial stability is the key to your child’s success and comfort; you should never have to put up with insufficient child support payments.
Substantial Increase in Income
First of all, if your non-custodial guardian experiences a substantial increase in income, you may be inclined to petition them to start providing higher child support payments. A substantial increase is usually defined as being an increase of 10% or more to their annual income. Petitions asking for more support during their times of stable financial livelihood will often be approved, as courts have determined that it is often in the child’s best interest to live in reasonably equal financial circumstances despite what parents home they may be residing in. If you suspect your non-custodial parent is hiding an increase in income from you in hopes to avoid raised child support fees, you should contact your attorney immediately!
Significant Decrease in Income
In an alternate scenario of the above situation, where the custodial parent’s income decreases by 10% or more, you may also petition for increased child support payments. The economy is a rough place right now, and the court systems understand that not every job will be as stable as the next. This situation should not affect the well-being of your child, and thus petitioning during these rough economic times will often lead to an approved request for your non-custodial guardian to pay more in child support fines. However, you must be able to prove that your income was lost through no fault of your own. If you are found to have lowered your income purposefully in order to gain an increase in child support, your petition will likely be thrown out and denied.
Substantial Increase in Needs of Child
The final scenario that may lead to increased child support fees is the significant increase in a child’s living needs. These needs can be educational, medical, age-related and more, so always consult your attorney as to whether or not something would warrant an increase in child support payments. In an economic environment where both medical and education costs can be account-breaking, the need for support in these areas is often met with sympathy within the family court system.
As mentioned before, there are many other scenarios that would warrant your non-custodial guardian to have their child support fees increased. Meet with your attorney and allow them to assess the intimate details of current changes in both you and your non-custodial guardian’s living situations. Depending on what state you are in they may find that you are deserving of more support. Financial stability during these rough times is the key to providing your child with the future they deserve, so get ahold of your attorney as soon as possible!