Help With Child Support And Custody Modifications
Family situations are changing often and rapidly now more than ever. This is true following a divorce or the end of a non-marital relationship in which the parties became parents. As children grow, changes occur that may require modifications to an original child custody or child support agreement. These changes should be approved by the court, even if they seem minor.
Attorney Craig Kalinoski has a thorough knowledge of the procedures and circumstances for amending a court order. We can help you present or defend against an alleged change of circumstances in a request to modify child support or child custody.
There are common situations that constitute a change in circumstances. These examples can lead a parent to seek modifications to a child support or child custody agreement:
- The need to move further away due to a new job or remarriage.
- Extended unemployment or a significant increase or decrease in income.
- If the custodial parent inherits money, gets a large raise, or otherwise has an increased ability to support the children.
- Extended illness or injury.
- Conditions such as alcohol or drug abuse that create a dangerous environment for children.
- A change in the child’s educational or medical needs.
When a Modification to Child Custody Agreements is Necessary
A change in custody is just as important to the life of the child as the original court order. Because of this, all parties are afforded the same type of hearing as they did for their original case. In custody and visitation matters, the court will consider what is in the best interest of the child.
If a parent relocates out of state, child custody and visitation orders may be modified. For child support, the court can reduce the payment amounts to make up for the cost of transportation for child visits. For visitation, courts can change the schedule from alternate weekends to longer visits during school and summer breaks.
Why Verbal Modifications Don’t Stand Up in Court
You and your ex may be on good terms. But this doesn’t mean you should make changes to your child support or custody plans over the phone.
Consider a situation where you lose your job and are no longer able to afford full support payments. You and your ex can come up with a way to support your child while you get back on your feet. But if you don’t get legal documentation on what’s expected of you, you can be in trouble later. Your former spouse can always take you to court to reap back support if you lack that legal documentation.
Emotions and time change the interpretation of verbal agreements. That’s why you need legal guidance every step of the way.
What if I don’t earn high wages? Can I still be made to pay support? What about a support reduction?
Even if you have a low monthly income, you will likely still be ordered to make child support payments. However, you must also be able to support yourself. There are a few examples where you may be entitled to a support reduction. For example, if you have multiple children or your ex has a higher income than you. In most situations, your support payments won’t equate to 50 percent of your total monthly income.
The court will also take into account whether or not you provide other financial support for your child. Financial support can be:
- Being the carrier of your children’s health insurance.
- Paying your children’s tuition payments.
- Any recurring costs that your children accumulate.
Finally, if you are spending more time with your child than you originally had been under the agreement, you may be entitled to a reduction in support. With each additional day that your child is with you, you cover costs directly for them.
But these figures can be difficult to come to. This is why you need an experienced Scranton family law attorney to guide you through the process.
Attorney Craig Kalinoski Can Help With Your Support Modification Needs
Hiring an experienced Scranton divorce modification lawyer is the smartest way to protect your interests and your child’s interests. We can answer your questions and provide a straightforward assessment of your family law case during a free initial consultation. Call (570) 207-4000 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.