How to Adjust Your Child Support Payments After a Divorce
Around half of all marriages in the United States now end in divorce. When you go through the divorce proceedings, the judge will look at various factors to determine who gets custody of your children. The custodial parent is the one the children spend the largest amount of time with and the one who has majority custody. As the noncustodial parent, the court will typically require that you pay child support and base your payments on your take home pay. When circumstances change, you can request a change to your support order.
What Constitutes a Change?
The amount that the court orders you pay with each check depends on how much money you bring home after taxes. Though the law allows the court to take more than half of your take home pay, most judges will limit this amount and provide you with enough money to live on. You can request a change to the order because you no longer make as much money as you did before. This can occur because your hours changed, you work now part-time because you went back to school or you lost your job.
You Should Petition the Court
As soon as your situation changes, you should petition the court and ask for a reduction in your child support payments. The court will need proof of the change such as stubs or copies of your most recent paychecks. If the court does decide to reduce your payments, it will send notification to the child support enforcement agency in your state, which tells that agency that it needs to reduce the amount it takes from your checks. Most agencies automatically deduct child support payments from checks today.
What Happens if You Don’t Contact the Court?
If you do not contact the court, the child support enforcement agency will. This usually occurs after it attempts to take out an amount equivalent to previous amounts and cannot. If you change jobs, the agency will likely send you a letter through the mail and give you a set amount of time to contact the office with details about your new job. Failure to pay your child support can result in the loss of your license, the state taking your tax refund and even jail time. Divorce lawyers in Highland Park and other cities can help noncustodial parents make changes to their child support payments, alimony and even custody arrangements after a divorce.