Life situations can change unexpectedly and leave you in a difficult position to continue making child support payments. Whether you have lost your job, experienced a pay reduction, had your hours reduced, or experienced any other unforeseen circumstances, you may need to request a child support modification to make ends meet.
Requesting a modification does not always mean the court will grant your request, though. If your child support modification request is denied, it is important to understand the reason for the denial. Afterward, it is crucial to speak with a family lawyer to learn about your options. Here are some steps you can take when you learn about a denied child support modification request.
Understand Why the Court Denied Your Child Support Modification Request
The court can deny your request for many reasons. The court needs proof that you experienced a significant change in life circumstances. Most of the time, if you are claiming that you have lost your job or had your wages reduced, the change should be at least 25% of your previous income for the courts to take it seriously. Depending on the situation, it still might not be enough to modify child support payments if you are unable to prove your claims.
One of the reasons why the courts need multiple points of proof is that they have to decipher whether your pay cut was voluntary or involuntary. For example, if you chose to quit your job for a lower-paying job, then the courts will likely view that as a voluntary pay reduction and deny your child support modification request. Even quitting your job in favor of going to college may not be acceptable to the courts and you will still be on the hook for making your regular child support payments. In most cases, when you lose income or incur more expenses due to your own choices, your child support modification request will be denied.
Find a Solution With Your Ex-Spouse
Talking to your ex-spouse about modifying child support payments is not always possible. However, if you are on speaking terms with them and you understand each other’s situation, then you might have an easier time working with them to modify your child support payments. Be honest about your situation and explain why you believe you need to modify your payments. Even if your change in salary is due to a decision you have made, your ex-spouse could agree to reduced payments if they see a benefit for your children because of your decision. It is crucial to get your agreement in writing. It is also important to talk to your family lawyer before reducing payments on your own.
Talk To a Family Lawyer as Soon as Possible
Talking to a family law lawyer before requesting a child support modification can help. A lawyer can evaluate your chances of having the request accepted. If your request has already been denied, speak to a family lawyer as soon as possible. The right lawyer shall help you review the next steps. He will look closely into the reasons for the denied request and work toward a resolution. The laws can be tricky and not as straightforward as they may seem to the average person. Therefore, having a reputable family lawyer on your side is invaluable.
The Law Offices of Paul Bowen can help you put together a strong case for your child support modification request. Whether you want to make an initial request or if your request was denied, we are here to help. Feel free to contact us at (727) 773-1554 or submit an online form. We will reach out to you as soon as possible.