Sometimes your divorce decree is not in your favor. Other times, your financial situation may change after your divorce. Either way, you may not be satisfied with the amount of child support you receive from your ex.
The good news is that you can do something about it. You do not have to settle for something that is not working for you and your children. With the help of an experienced family law attorney, you can have the court modify the original divorce order.
Determine a change in income
If your order is less than 3 years old, you will have to prove a relevant change in circumstance. The most common cause for a modification in child support is an involuntary change in income for you or your ex. This can mean:
- You lose your job
- Your wages and/or hours decrease significantly
- Your ex receives a substantial pay raise
- Your ex gets an "unexpected windfall of money"
Additional financial circumstances apply, as well. For example, the cost of living goes up, your custody time increases, or you or a child develops a medical condition. Situations that do not qualify include going into debt, having more children and voluntarily working for fewer hours or less money.
File the petition
Once you have determined that you are eligible to receive more child support, fill out the required paperwork, provide the necessary evidence and pay a filing fee. The court will review your application and decide if there is valid cause for an increase in payment. If you and your ex are on amicable terms and can cooperate with each other, you may even determine a new child support agreement on your own to submit to the court for approval. If that is unlikely, you definitely want an attorney on your side to help defend your cause. You can also go to court for issues of nonpayment of child support.