Has it been several years since you last reviewed your child support, child custody papers, or parenting plan? Has there been a significant change to work, location, or income? If so, our Colorado Springs family attorneys can help you review your arrangements and make any necessary modifications.
Even if not much has changed, it’s wise to review your court orders regularly, perhaps every year or every other year. It is best to have an attorney help you with the review in case laws have changed and your current child custody court orders could be affected.
At Springs Law Group, our mission is to make sure you and your family are legally protected and supported. Give us a call today to set up a free in-person or over-the-phone consultation. The initial consultation is free of charge and confidential.
What Is Child Support Modification?
Child support modification is the legal term used to describe any changes made in your child support agreement. These changes could include an increase or decrease in your payment. Child support modification can be considered when circumstances change.
Most states demand you go through the same court system that created the child support agreement in the first place to modify your current arrangement. Be prepared to show proof of why you want a modification. Whether you are the recipient or the payer of child support, you can seek child support modification. In each situation, things change that can alter the amount of money you can realistically afford to pay in order to support your child.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Modification?
In short, no, you do not have to have a lawyer for child support modification. However, if you feel your ex will fight you on the subject, it is a good idea. It’s also smart to have legal representation if the other parent has a lawyer. Even if you and the other party are in agreement regarding the changes, it’s still a good idea to have the experienced attorneys of Springs Law Group look over your paperwork and ensure everything is in order and legally sound.
Do I Have to Go to Court for Modification?
In a best case scenario, you and your child’s other parent will agree on the terms of modification. If you assume this will prevent you from going to court, you are wrong. As mentioned above, you have to go to the same court that granted your original agreement to get a modification on your child support arrangement. It is important to have the court adopt your agreement in order to make it an official court order. This means you have to go before a judge to have your child support modified.
At Springs Law Group, we understand the nuances of a child support modification case. Consequently, we are able to help you through the process, ensuring the best available outcome.
How Often Can You File for Modification?
According to the Colorado Department of Human Services, you can seek child support modification as often as necessary if you meet certain standards. The Child Support Enforcement Unit calls this process the “review and adjustment” of the child support agreement. The Colorado Revised Statutes say the following has to be true in order to seek a modification:
- Changes in the amount of child support should be greater than 10%. This means you can seek a modification if you plan on either decreasing or increasing your child support by at least 10%.
- The changes in circumstances surrounding the modification must be continuing and substantial. This means you can’t seek modification based upon a temporary situation. These changes could include significant adjustments to the cost of day care, health insurance, or the cost of other medical care.
- The modification is required in order to cover a child’s medical needs. This can include medical coverage as well.
Child Support Modification Tips
Of course, above anyone else, child support lawyers can offer you the best modification tips. Come visit Springs Law Group for your free personalized consultation to learn more. Until then, the following are some general tips to help you begin the modification process:
- Act quickly. If you are the parent paying child support and cannot afford the amount that was set for you, you need to act fast. This is because you will owe all unpaid child support once the court issues the agreement. Keep in mind, you cannot get rid of this debt by filing bankruptcy. Furthermore, you can’t alter the amount you owe after the fact. Therefore, as soon as your ability to pay changes, act fast to begin the modification process.
- Pay what you can. Even if you are unable to pay the full amount you owe, keep paying what you can. This will show you are trying. It is also the right thing to do. After all, your child deserves your continued support, no matter the change in circumstances.
- Get your documents in order. Make sure to have proof of any changes to your income. Keep in mind, this change must have occurred after you created your child support agreement.
- Get help. If you find yourself unable to make your child support payments, get legal help fast. We at Springs Law Group are here to help. We know you want to do what’s right by your child. However, you can’t always help what happens to you in life. We will work with you to get your child support modification started. We are also here to represent you if you are the custodial parent who is struggling to make ends meet with your current child support payments. If there is legal reason to seek more child support, we are ready to fight to get you the help you deserve. The continued support of the child is of utmost importance.
One of the most common reasons for coming back to court after a divorce or separation is child support modification. The ideal scenario is one that meets the needs of both parents and the child. We want to work with you, no matter which side of things you’re on, in order to achieve this delicate balance.
What Is Child Custody Modification?
Child custody modification is making changes to your child custody arrangements after your agreement has been made. This could include changing the custodial parent or could simply imply one parent desires more visitation time with the child. The process for child custody modification follows many of the same steps for child support modification described above.
If you are preparing to request a child support modification, please speak with us first. Contact us online or call us directly at 719.421.7141 for your free, no obligation consultation.