By : Laura Lockwood
I am often asked by clients how they can go about changing or modifying an existing child support order. If one thing is certain about a child support (particularly if entered when children are young), it is that the child support amount will likely need to be modified at some point in the future. Any changes in the parties’ financial circumstances – including income changes for either parent, changes in healthcare coverage, birth of a new child to one of the parents, parenting schedule changes, etc. – can result in a change in child support. The Child Support Recovery Unit (through the Department of Human Services) does offer an option for an Administrative Modification of child support. However, these administrative modifications are limited in when they can occur, in what income changes the Court can consider, and in what is considered a “change in circumstances” to warrant a modification.
Hartung Schroeder is able to assist our clients with an initial child support review to determine if further legal action is necessary to protect the client’s rights and to ensure they are paying (or receiving) the appropriate amount of child support. If clients have proof of income for themselves and the other parent, that initial review and assessment is quick and easy. After that assessment, the client will have the necessary information to determine if they should move forward with a child support modification action. If the other parent’s income is unknown, the filing of a child support modification action in District Court triggers a requirement for the parties to exchange financial information. Once that information is obtained from the other parent, Hartung Schroeder is able to determine the other parent’s income, calculate and create new Child Support Guidelines worksheets, and determine the appropriate amount of child support. Child support modification actions are often quick and easy, but they do require the keen eye of an attorney to ensure that all income sources are reviewed and all aspects of the Guidelines are considered in order to obtain the best possible financial outcome for our clients.
ABOUT LAURA LOCKWOOD
Laura Lockwood is a collaborative attorney and mediator, practicing primarily in the area of family law. Having received extensive training in the collaborative and mediation processes, Laura believes strongly that peacemaking is an invaluable skill — particularly in family law. You can read more about Laura or get in touch with her here.