Joel W. Anders, P.C.
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Warning signs that you may want to modify your child support

In many modern divorces in Maryland or Washington DC, child support will be a contentious issue for both spouses. It is also one of the few terms of a divorce that you may have the option of changing after the final decree from the family courts. Of course, child support issues can also arise between parents who never married to begin with.

Whether you are the parent paying support or the one receiving support payments, if you believe that the amount does not reflect your current financial situation or the situation of the other parent accurately, it may be time to request a modification. Modifications are formal changes to the existing court order that adjust the amount of support paid.

Should you request a hearing or just wait?

Although the family courts will routinely review support levels every few years after the initial order, life has a way of changing with little warning. When circumstances change dramatically well before the next review, submitting a formal request for a modification hearing could be a solution for your situation.

Why do people need to change the amount of child support paid?

Different people will have different reasons for feeling like they need a child support modification. The parent who receives support could feel like a modification becomes necessary when they lose their job or their income decreases. The same could be true in a scenario where the expenses they incur for their children drastically increase.

Higher childcare or health care costs are common reasons for people to seek an increase in child support. Some people also seek good fortune child support. If their ex receives a windfall or an increase in income, that good fortune may also be grounds to request more support.

For the spouse paying support, financial hardship is often the reason for requesting a modification. The loss of a job, a demotion or a drastic increase in their expenses, potentially due to medical issues, could all put a parent in the position where they can no longer continue paying the same amount of support they once did.

Whether you hope to increase or decrease the ordered level of child support, a formal modification request and hearing is typically unnecessary. Informal changes made between you and the other parent will not protect either of you from enforcement action or other complications in the future.

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