When looking to modify child support payments, it is never advisable to simply change the payments on your own. Even when both parents agree, court modification is still necessary to have the documents in order and confirm the reasons for making adjustments.
Applying for Modification
It is necessary to support and document your reasons for changing the amount. You may need to submit unemployment information, pay stubs, and other forms. Denver family and divorce attorneys note that payment adjustment should support the best interest of the child. The use of online child support calculations is not always advisable, as they only provide an approximate figure, but fail to consider other important details.
The court, however, may deny child support payment modification at a time a parent just feels like doing so. The adjustments must be supported by a legitimate and reasonable need associated with childcare. There must be a good reason when requesting for a decrease or increase in child support.
The court may allow payment adjustments if there are changes in employment status or in the child’s necessary expenses. Relocation of a parent or the child and other changes in financial circumstances may also warrant payment modification. The changes, of course, needs approval before implementation.
Change Without Court’s Permission
Unauthorized modification may lead to contempt orders, penalties, and court fines. If you modify payments without permission from the court, this may also result in loss of visitation rights and custody. Unpaid child support, on the other hand, may cause the court to impose garnishment from the payer’s paycheck.
Needs to Be Official
It is always advisable to make the payment modification official to protect the order in case the relationship between parents deteriorates. If a parent’s payment falls behind, the other parent may not ask the court to collect the payment if verbal agreement is the only thing in place.
If the requested change supports the best interest of the child, approval is possible without a court hearing. If both parties cannot agree, however, they will have to settle the case in court.