Got Changed Circumstances? Make Sure to Modify Child Support

Common knowledge among those who follow the news is that the NFL and its players are embroiled in a collective bargaining skirmish. Due to no fault of their own, NFL players are suddenly without paychecks. No paycheck for these athletes can mean defaulted loans, repossessed luxury automobiles and… extremely upset mothers, if they are no longer receiving child support payments.

What kind of changes?

Regardless of whether a parent who is paying child support receives an annual income of eight figures or five figures, if that parent’s income decreases or vanishes through no fault of his or her own, it likely means eligibility for a reduced child support order.  To modify an existing child support order, the applicant must prove that circumstances have changed.  Some examples of changes include:

  • The applicant’s income has decreased or been eliminated.
  • The income of the parent receiving child support has increased.
  • The custodial time the applicant spends with a child has changed.
  • One of the children has reached the age of majority.
  • A parent has voluntarily or intentionally quit a job.
  • Child care expenses have increased.

What kind of modification?

Once the application to modify payment is filed with the court, the parent paying child support still remains liable for any unpaid support.  The court will hold a hearing to determine whether a change of circumstances exists to warrant a modification of child support.  If this burden is met, the court may apply the new child support order retroactively to the date when the application for a modification was filed.

What should you do?

Parents paying child support, beware:  whether you are a professional athlete or an average American working person, your support obligation continues unless the court changes it.  If you are paying child support and you anticipate a reduction in income, it behooves you to be proactive and file the necessary application with the court.  Without obtaining a new court order, your existing child support order will remain unchanged and you will remain liable regardless of your ability to pay the order.