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.
At Kalinoski Law Offices P.C. in Scranton, we have a thorough knowledge of the procedure and circumstances that must be shown to amend 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.
Common situations that constitute a change in circumstances that may lead a parent to seek modifications to child support or child custody agreement include:
- 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, so all parties are afforded the same type of hearing as they received when the case was originally heard. In custody and visitation matters, the court will consider what is in the best interests of the child.
If a parent relocates out of state, child custody and visitation orders may be modified. The court may reduce the amount of child support payments to make up for the cost of transportation for child visits, or change the visitation schedule from alternate weekends to longer visits during school breaks and in the summer.
Why Verbal Modifications Don’t Stand Up in Court
You and your ex may be on good terms. But just because you trust one another doesn’t mean you should make changes to your child support or custody plans over the phone.
When things happen like losing your job and no longer being able to afford full support payments, you and your ex may come up with a way you can still support your child while getting back on your feet. But if you don’t get legal documentation on what’s expected of you once you can make full payments, your former spouse may take you to court to reap back support.
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 still be able to support yourself. In cases where you have multiple children or your ex has a higher income than you, you may be entitled to a support reduction. In most situations, you won’t be made to make support payments that equate to 50 percent of your total monthly income.
Other measures that will be taken in determining if a support payment deduction is possible is if you are the carrier of the health insurance for your kids, tuition payments, or other recurring costs that you cover, which may also lead to an overall monthly deduction.
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. The idea is that for every additional day your child is with you, you will be putting costs directly to them.
But these figures can be difficult to come to, which 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.