Although relationships end, care of children is something that lasts for many years after a divorce or separation. More often than not, one parent will be ordered to pay child support while the other parent will retain custody of the children. When disagreements arise regarding this funding, a lawyer can help parents address their differences and put a plan in place that will benefit the couple’s children.
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Whether arrangements for child support are issued before or after a separation, once a court order for payment is made, the non-custodial parent must comply. The amount of support that is required can be based on a number of factors, most importantly the income of the non-custodial parent. If a disagreement regarding these payments arises, neither parent has the authority to raise or lower the child support amount. In order to make such a change, a motion must be filed with the court and is usually best handled by a lawyer for child support.
If the non-custodial parent cannot afford their current payments and wishes to have them lowered, proper documentation must be presented showing the court that their situation has changed. This can include such circumstances including job loss, illness or that the parent is contributing to costs that were not originally agreed upon. Generally, this motion is a request for the court to review the child support order because the situation that was initially considered has changed.
Once the court has reviewed the new situation, they will either uphold the original order or issue a new order for child support. Either way, when new guidelines are set forth, both parents must abide by them even if the custodial parent believes the payments are too low. Consequently, if the non-custodial parent does not uphold their end of the support order, the consequences can be great. A contempt of court motion may be filed and the non-custodial parent may have to pay all back child support or even serve time in jail.
When discussing issues of child support, parents should educate themselves on child support rights and contact an attorney to set up an agreement or make any modifications. A lawyer for child support can assist in such instances as raising or lowering a child support order and filing all appropriate paperwork with the court system. Following this approach ensures that any orders or adjustments fall within the confines of the law.