Modifications of Child Support

Child Support Modification Lawyer

In Georgia, the courts strive to see that children are not financially penalized because their parents are not together. This means if one parent is financially better off, the other parent is likely to receive child support in order to provide the child with a consistent standard of living. In many situations, the original child support order suffices and adjustments are not needed beyond the standard cost of living. However, there are times when the original order becomes unfair to one or both parents, or even the children and modifications of child support need to be considered.

When is a Child Support Modification Request Appropriate?

If two parents divorce and they both have stable incomes with limited expectations of change, modifications of child support might not be necessary. If there is a major change to either parent’s financial dynamic, a modification may be necessary to see that the children have the things they need without creating hardship for either parent. Some situations that warrant modification include

  • A decrease in Income through job loss or demotion –  Since support payments are based on both parents’ income, if either loses a significant amount of income unexpectedly, the court may modify support owed or received based on the loss of income. 
  • Added expenses for the child, such as medical care or extra-curricular activities – If a child starts high school and gets involved in an expensive sport, or they need braces or have other medical expenses that require more money, the court may review the extra expense and decide how it should be divided between the parents,
  • A substantial increase in income – If you’ve discovered your spouse has gotten a big raise and promotion, it can be cause to look at what you are paying or receiving.
  • A Shift in Custody Arrangement- one parent’s time with the child(ren) changes dramatically. If one parent has moved significantly closer or further away, enough to warrant substantially more or less custody or visitation, it may also affect how much child support is appropriate as well.

Temporary vs. Permanent Modifications

Some financial windfalls or setbacks might only last a short time before things even out again.  Others prove to be the new normal. When deciding how to adjust child support, the court may put a time limit on the ordered changes, and request that the situation be reviewed again at a later date to see if the situation remains applicable, or if further adjustments are needed.

Modifications of child support are meant to address significant financial changes in the home and are not meant as a type of appeal for the court’s original order.  If real financial changes have thrown your child support off balance, we at the Platt Family Law Firm in Roswell, GA would like to help. To learn more, contact The Platt Family Law Firm in  Roswell, GA at 404-255-3434 to schedule a consultation.