Westborough Child Support Modifications Lawyer
Child support payments are meant to cover the cost of raising a child, including their food, housing, clothing, and any special needs they might have. A family court determines which parent will make these payments based on multiple factors. These considerations may include the income of both parents, the age of the child, the costs of health insurance, day care, the amount of time the child spends with each parent, and other factors.
The judge in a divorce case takes into account the income of both parties when considering financial support for a minor. When one parent has substantial income, the amount they may owe could be high, even if they share physical custody of the child. What income is included within a calculation is also an issue that needs to be determined to obtain the final support amount. If anything has changed from when you entered into your most recent child support judgment, you could be eligible to have your child support order modified. In these cases, our extraordinary team can use their firsthand experience to help you seek an alteration to your child support duties.
Additionally, if you have primary custody over your child and are seeking a change in your prior order, our Westborough child support modifications lawyers can help as well. Because our practice has over 35 years of exclusive family law experience, we can carefully evaluate your financial situation and explain your legal options.
When Can a Parent Request Alterations to Their Child Support Agreement?
In Westborough, there are a number of circumstances where a parent and their attorney may pursue child support modifications. Alterations to these agreements are possible if the child support calculation would result in a different amount than what the current order is. This opens the door for modifications. Some of these circumstances may include:
- The income of a parent has changed
- The cost of child care has changed
- The cost of health insurance premiums has changed
- You’ve had more parenting time than you had when your current support order was issued
- Your child has turned 18
- Your child has become emancipated
If one of these types of changes take place, it can have devastating effects on a parent who is paying support. If that parent sees their income decrease dramatically, they may be unable to meet their current support obligations. Alternatively, a court may require a parent to pay more if they see dramatic increase in their income. Changes in income that may result in a modification to a support arrangement may include receiving a raise, losing a job, retiring, or facing demotion.
Things can get tricky if you are seeking to decrease your child support because you voluntarily left a higher paying position. Sometimes the Court may hold you to paying the child support based on the amount you earned previously. If you have another child, people think they can decrease their child support; however, having another child is generally a defense against the other parent asking for an increase in the child support rather than being able to be utilized to decrease child support.
No matter the circumstances, the court must agree to any changes to a parent’s support obligations. Alterations that decrease or increase the amount of child support can only effect payments after the date that the petition was served to the other parent. Therefore, modifications cannot be retroactive, regardless of when the change in circumstance occurred.
The Child Support Modification Process in Westborough
The process of child support alteration starts well before an attorney files a petition with the court. Sometimes, the party seeking the change may ask the other parent to agree voluntarily. If the parties both agree to a modification, the process can be fairly straightforward. Both sides would need to file a joint petition requesting their desired change and file the appropriate documentation, which the Court can grant administratively without you having to appear in court.
When both parents cannot come to an agreement, however, the party requesting the modification must file a complaint for modification on their own or through the Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement Division.
Additionally, it is usually important to move quickly. If a parent is in a position where they cannot afford their support payments, they could continue to accrue these payments at that amount until they file and serve their complaint and then get into court on a motion for temporary orders. Our child support attorneys in Westborough can help a parent through this modification process regardless of whether the other party agrees or not.
Speak with a Westborough Child Support Modifications Attorney
The process of modifying child support can be challenging and stressful. The legal team at O’Connor Family Law is here to help you through this difficult process.
The sooner you move forward with your complaint, the sooner you could see a favorable outcome in your situation. Contact our Westborough child support modifications lawyers to get started on your modification.