What to Do If Your Ex Files for Child Support Modification

Child support modification can happen for a number of reasons. If your ex has begun the process for modification of the amount you pay each month, there are a few things you should do. Child support modification can happen for several reasons. Even if there’s been no substantial change in incomes or expenses, the order for financial support of a child can be revisited three years after the original order has been approved by a judge. If either spouse has lost their job, moved, gotten remarried, or died, the order for child support should be revisited. Also, if the amount of child support to be ordered differs by 20 percent or $100 per month since the last order was signed, the child support modification process can be initiated.

This process begins with the filing of “a petition to amend the parent-child relationship.” Keep in mind that this phrasing means that the new agreement may not cover only child support payments. It may also allow you to revisit conservatorship or possession and access. Ideally, you and your spouse will agree on these changes. If you do, you can then file the papers with the court, where a judge will sign them. The amount of support paid should not change until the new order is signed by a judge. If you and your spouse don’t agree, you should hire a family lawyer if you don’t already have one.

You will need to demonstrate for a judge what you can reasonably be expected to pay each month. This includes your income at your job or jobs, dividends from stocks or bonds, or any money from a side business. It can also include lottery winnings or an inheritance. Keep records of the support payments you make and of any other money spent on your child. Your attorney can explain how all of this will impact child support modification, and help you achieve a settlement that is fair and equitable.

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