Raising children is expensive, and as kids get older they require more. If you receive child support, you may be struggling to keep up. Is it time to revise your child support orders?
Where do I find my child support orders?
Child support orders are court orders and can be included in a Final Decree of Divorce, a Paternity Decree, a modification of previous orders, or can be stand-alone child support orders. The court orders which are most recent in time are the ones you should look at. (In other words, if you have had more than one court case relating to child support, make sure you look at the most recent order).
Make sure you look at the final copy of the orders (the one signed by the judge, and better yet, a copy that is certified by the clerk).
If you need to get a copy of the orders, look at the website for the District Clerk of the county where the case was heard. Look for the public option for how to order documents, or call that office to ask.
How old are your child support orders?
You may have child support orders from several years ago. If so, you may not have reviewed the orders in quite a while.
Unless there has been a major, unusual change in circumstances, generally child support orders are not modified unless they are more than a year old.
What’s happening now?
Review the expenses that relate to your child. Review your own finances. Make a list of what has changed since the orders first went into effect.
Can your ex afford more?
Times are hard and you may know that your ex cannot do anymore than what he or she is doing. Or, you may suspect that they are doing better financially than they were at the time when the orders were entered. This is all information that you can consider when deciding what to do.
I don’t want to damage the relationship….
You may worry about how your ex will receive the news that you need to ask for an increase in child support. It is likely that you will want to handle this situation in the most diplomatic way.
Here are suggestions on how that may be done:
- Make sure that it is a reasonable request, and that you have a possible chance of success. The best way to get a reality check is to contact a family law attorney. She will know how to analyze the information that you provide.
- Once the attorney reviews the information that you have already organized, she can advise you about all of your options.
- You may decide to proceed, or you may decide that it is not advisable.
- If you decide to proceed, you will have various options. Some of those options are: discussing it with your ex yourself, having your attorney write a letter, going to mediation to discuss the changes with your ex, or filing a lawsuit in family law court to modify child support.
How we can help
We can help you make a decision about whether or not it is time to ask for an increase in child support. If it is time to do so, we can help you decide the best way to do it.
We have over 35 years of family law and child support experience and can assist you in English or Spanish.
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