Child support payments remain a necessary aspect in divorce proceedings. Those payments provide the funding a primary custodial parent needs to pay for his or her child’s medical and school expenses as well as general needs. However, the amount is not set in stone.
Every two years, child support payments are automatically adjusted due to inflation. However, that fact does not address other situations that must be taken into consideration when modifying child support. A job loss along with a significant drop in income or a new job or promotion that leads to a significant pay hike necessitates child support modifications.
Loss or boost in income, change in child’s needs
Periodically, child support agreements must get reviewed. A few reasons exist why modifications are necessary, and they include:
- A decline in income: A job loss affects everyone in a divorced family. Suddenly, those court-ordered child support payments are in jeopardy. Many people have lost jobs in the past 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They understand the need to care for their families and often accept a job for a lot less than what they previously earned. Modifications must come into place.
- An increase in income: A pay raise from a promotion or new job comes into play for child support modifications. If your ex-spouse reaps the rewards from a pay hike, so should your child and you.
- Accelerating changes in your child’s needs: As your child grows, so do his or her financial needs. Increased involvement in school may mean more fees related to activities such as sports and clubs. Additional medical expenses may surface, too.
- If a permanent disability strikes: Unforeseen events and medical circumstances may lead to a permanent disability to either parent as well as the child. A disability likely impedes a parent’s income-earning ability. And what if a child sustains a permanent injury that requires round-the-clock medical care?
Modifications to child support agreements are in place to ensure fairness. Life- and job-related changes require revisiting such agreements. Whether it is an increase or drop in income or the growing needs of a growing child, modifications are in order.