When Should You Modify A Child Support Order?
Child support is one of many terms that must be decided on during a divorce. Child support orders are issued by Supreme Court or Family Court judges and they are final and legally binding. Violating any court order, including those pertaining to child support, is a very serious matter and can result in harsh consequences. Still, there are times when the original order is no longer practical, or affordable for the person who is obligated to pay it. In these instances, it may be possible to modify the original order. Below, our Suffolk County child support lawyer explains when you can modify an order, and how to do it.
When to Modify Child Support
There are many reasons people choose to modify a child support order. In order to change the amount of child support, you must show the court that there has been a significant change in circumstances. For example, perhaps you lost your job or you have developed a health condition that prevents you from working for a certain period of time.
Presenting strong evidence is critical when proving a substantial change in circumstances. For example, if you became critically ill and cannot work for a period of time, you should present medical records that show your diagnosis and prognosis. If you had to apply for unemployment benefits as a result, you should also include any records of benefits received and your application as evidence in your case.
Temporary vs. Permanent Modifications
Family law judges have the discretion to modify a child support on a temporary or permanent basis. For example, if you lost your job but are still capable of working, a judge may modify a child support order temporarily until you find new employment. On the other hand, if you suffered a disability that prevents you from working in the same field on a long-term basis, a judge may permanently modify the original court order.
Wait for Court Approval Before Taking Action
You may find it difficult to continue making child support payments after your financial situation has significantly changed. Still, it is critical that you continue to make full payments in accordance with the original order until the court approves the modification.
If you deviate from the original order before a court has officially approved a change, it may be seen as a violation of the order. Violating a court order has many serious consequences. A Judge may garnish your wages, require you to pay the full amount of back child support, and could even hold you in contempt of court. If you are found to be in contempt, you may even face jail time.
Our Child Support Lawyer in Suffolk County Can Help with Your Modification
If you need to modify an original court order after divorce, our Suffolk County child support lawyer can help you do it. At the Law Office of Joshua Adam Kittenplan, P.C., our seasoned attorney has a long track record of helping clients modify existing orders, and we want to put that experience to work for you, too. Call us now at 631-499-0606 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.