Planning for a future that’s far from certain

As you get ready to finalize your divorce with your former spouse, you probably aren’t thinking ahead to a time when you’ll need to revisit the trying, emotionally fraught separation process. Unfortunately, it’s possible for the arrangements made during a divorce to become obsolete with the passage of time. Many parents find themselves needing to modify child support arrangements within a few years of their divorce. Learn more about how and when it’s appropriate to do so.

Why Would You Modify Child Support?

There are several common reasons for needing to modify child support. Some of these include:

  1. The loss of a job or a reduction in hours
  2. A permanent change in a parent’s earning power
  3. A significant hardship like a serious injury that renders the supporting parent unable to honor the current agreement
  4. Any other substantial and continuing change in the circumstances of either parent

In short, modifications to a child support agreement are most common when it becomes financially untenable for the supporting parent to continue making payments. However, the supporting parent may be asked to increase the amount that they provide in the event that the custodial parent suffers a job loss. In other cases, the child may experience a medical issue that the custodial parent can’t handle on his or her own, or there may expenses that were included in the child support order that are not being used now, such as daycare or preschool costs.

Voluntary Modifications

The quickest and least stressful way to modify a child support agreement may be to voluntarily change the agreement with your former spouse. While this may be difficult after an acrimonious divorce, amicably divorced couples are often able to manage such negotiations. You will need to get your new agreement in writing and submit it to the court for approval. It is important for you both to sign and attach an Indiana Child Support Worksheet to your agreement to show the court how you arrived at the new child support amount. An Indiana child support calculator can be found online.

Court-Ordered Modifications

If it’s not possible to reach a voluntary agreement, you’ll need to provide detailed financial records or other evidence of a chance in your financial circumstances to a judge. Based on evidence submitted by both parents, he or she will determine the appropriate amount of support and change the agreement accordingly.

Important Considerations

If you’re the supporting parent, it’s critical for you to get your petition to modify child support on file as quickly as possible. Without prompt action, you could become liable for additional payments that you can’t afford.

Call Garrison Law Firm

While we’d like to say that you won’t ever have to modify child support order, it’s possible that you’ll find yourself dealing with this issue in the future. You shouldn’t dread this eventuality: With the right legal team on your side, you can quickly and painlessly take care of the matter. To learn more about how the process works, fill out our online contact form or call us at (317) 842-8283 for a no-obligation consultation.