When You Get A Child Support Modification Notice In The Mail
One of the most unwelcome things that you can receive in the mail, whether you are paying child support or receiving it, is a notice from the court that there's been a request to modify the order. If you're receiving it, you can bet that the person paying it is asking to decrease the payments. If you're paying it, you can bet that the recipient wants more. In order to understand the best way to deal with this, you need to understand what can cause changes in support.
Reasons For Modification
You need to examine the request carefully to see if this a request for a temporary modification or a permanent one. Temporary modifications may have specific start and end dates to them and they will explain the reason for the request. Common reasons for a temporary modification are:
- the child has a temporary medical need, like braces
- the child wants to participate in something special, like band camp
- the other parent is currently laid off work or ill and his or her income is reduced
Other changes can provoke a request for a permanent modification:
- the paying parent has a new job with more income
- one of the parents has remarried and his or her spouse has income
- the child's needs have changed due to a medical diagnosis
- one of the parents has become permanently disabled
- the child has entered college and needs money for tuition, books, and fees
Ways To Fight Modifications
In order to fight a modification of support, you need to show the court that you aren't just unwilling to support your child but actually unable to do so. In order to do this you want to gather up the following things to take to your attorney and to show the court:
- your tax returns for the last two years to show your income
- proof of your disability, if applicable
- proof of any benefits you receive from pensions or disability programs
- proof of any public assistance that you receive
- a list of your basic expenses
Keep in mind that only your most basic necessary expenses are going to be relevant to the court. That includes things like your house payment, taxes, insurance payments, food, utility bills, gas for your car, and medical bills.
Don't bring cancelled checks showing the money you've already paid or gifts that you've made to your child. The court won't consider what you've done in the past; it is only concerned about the current and foreseeable future.
Make sure that you don't delay responding to a request for child support modification. If you do, the court will assume that you have no objections and put the order through. You'll have a far harder time getting it reversed than you will in stopping it in the first place! For more information, speak with a family law attorney today.
To consult with a family law attorney, contact a lawyer such as Margit M. Hicks, PA Attorney at Law.