Divorce orders are based on your present circumstances, but they also account for a potential future. For instance, support orders look at your current finances, but they also look at your earning potential. The court can assume that someone will advance in their career and order a higher amount of support.
These days, however, the future is harder to predict. People change careers far more often, and even stable jobs see sudden dips and overhauls.
Child support orders that once made sense simply may not be relevant anymore. Luckily, you have the option to plead for a child support modification. This is true for both the payor and receiver of child support.
Major life changes are grounds for a child support alteration. Here are some examples from both sides.
Changes in the Payor’s Life
Changes in Income
If someone makes less money, they cannot keep up with their prior obligations. This decrease could be the result of a change in income, such as a layoff or a demotion. It could also be investments in an industry that takes a downturn.
Whatever the case, these changes should be outside of the payor’s control. If they were fired or demoted because of their performance, the court may not be understanding. Also, the court could judge the payor for putting money into an obviously bad investment.
The changes must also be semi-permanent. Someone with a degree in a stable industry may be able to secure work quickly, and the court may not see a reason to alter their payments.
Alternatively, if the payor makes more money, the receiver can request a larger amount of child support. The assumption is that the payor now has more means to provide for the children and enhance their lifestyles.
Remember, child support goes directly to your children. The receiving parent cannot spend this money on themselves. Even if you must pay more, only your children will benefit from this increase.
The Birth of a New Child
The law expects parents to care for all their children, regardless of whether someone has children from multiple partners. Therefore, it includes the total number of children a payor supports in its ruling.
When the payor has a new child, this is a new mouth to feed and another child to support. This payor has a strong, justifiable case for a child support modification, lowering their payments.
Changes in the Receiver’s Life
Changes in Income
All of the above scenarios involving the payor’s income also apply to the receiver. When the receiver makes less money, they can request more child support since they cannot cover their portion. (Both parents pay child support, even though the payments go in only one direction.)
The same scenarios apply when the receiver makes more money as well. Since the receiver can contribute more, the payor may be able to pay less.
Technically, spouses share their incomes and assets. You could argue that someone who remarries increases their income, thus justifying a reduction in child support payments.
The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLC can help you argue for a fair child support payment, and we are there for you when modifications become necessary. To set up a free consultation, call our firm today at (515) 200-7571. You can also schedule time with us online.