When You Should Request Child Support Modification – What You Must Know

child support paymentsWhen you are going through a post-divorce legal battle with your former spouse, you must know when you should request child support modification. It is not something you want to do without a substantial and good reason. You mainly should consider what it would mean to your kids if you could no longer provide for them financially in the same or similar matter as you have been prior to now. If you can no longer provide for them as you did in the past, and your ex-spouse is making significantly more money than at the time of the divorce, then it may be time to request child support modification.

One step to take when you request child support modification is to attempt to reach an out-of-court agreement your ex-spouse regarding the terms of child support modification early. This post-divorce agreement should be in writing and include the amount of child support you will receive and how the payments will be dispersed. It should also be stated clearly when the child support is to be paid each, what amount is to be paid each month, whether it is to be paid directly or by an income deduction order, who is paying for the children’s health and dental insurance and in what monthly amount, who is paying for daycare and in what monthly amount, etc. Mediation may help you to obtain such a child support modification agreement.

When you need to request child support modification, it is recommended that you first talk to a highly rated and well-reviewed Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Venice family law attorney in your area. Sarasota divorce lawyer Matthew Z. Martell can explain your legal options regarding when you should request child support modification and how it will affect your financial situation. A child support attorney can also tell you about any other child-related expense benefits that you may be entitled to such as contributions toward the children’s health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, daycare expenses, and out-of-pocket medical, dental, and prescription expenses. While a child support attorney will not tell you initially the specific dollar amount that you may be entitled to for child support and child-related expense benefits, he or she can help you understand the process and how it works.

You must also consider the financial needs of your children. These needs must be considered before you modify your child support. This means that you have to have a financial plan in place now to cover yourself if you have to make a request for child support modification. For example, can you continue to afford to stay in your current home? Do you anticipate your income increasing or decreasing at work? Do you foresee any other significant financial changes in your life over the next year or so?

If you need to modify your child support payments because you can no longer afford to pay your current amount of required monthly child support, then you will have first to estimate the new level of financial assistance that your children will after your requested child support modification is completed. This means that you will have to do some child support calculations to determine your children total monthly child support amount need by each parent to meet his or her basic financial needs. One way this is done is by calculating the percentage of financial responsibility for monthly child support of each parent’s from their respective total monthly net income. The court then takes these percentages (example- 65%- Father and 35%-Mother) and uses it as the base for calculating percentage of financial responsibility of each parent for daycare, children’s health and dental insurance; and non-covered health, dental, vision and prescription copayments for the minor children. A good Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice family law lawyer such as Matthew Z. Martell will be able to help with this.   Basically, all that is needed is your monthly gross income, your ex-spouses monthly gross income to get started, the monthly amount for daycare (and who pays for it), the monthly amount for the kid’s health and dental insurance (and who pays for it), and an estimate regarding monthly children’s uncovered medical, dental, and prescription expenses (and who pays for it).

When you should request child support modification, you also have to consider the changes that are occurred in your economic life. For example, if you have lost a job, found a new job with less pay, your ex-spouse gotten a better paying job, or have any other financial change that has negatively affected how much money you make, then you should strongly consider requesting a child support modification as soon as possible. You will have to provide proof of these changes to the court. For example, if you recently became self-employed and are now making less money, then you will have to legally prove that this has caused a substantial change in your financial circumstances. Make sure to consult with Sarasota family law attorney Matthew Z. Martell before trying to do this on your own.

There are other things that you should consider when you request child support modification. For example, are you paying too much money for child support? If so, you will want to consider asking the Court for a reduction in order to continue to meet your child support obligation. If you have been granted monthly alimony payments but no longer receive them due to remarriage, you should consider asking for a child support increase if your ex-spouse is now making more money than at the time of the original divorce. Again, it is advisable to make sure you ask for mediation first before jumping straight into hearings and/or a trial.

These are just a few suggestions as you seek out when you should request a child support modification. There are many resources available to you online that will help you learn more about child support modification in Sarasota County, Florida and Manatee County, Florida. If you were awarded child support in your divorce but are now having serious difficulty meeting your financial obligations, then you may wish to consider modification of your child support if your ex-spouse is now making more money to ensure that you can continue to fulfill your child-related financial obligations.

What Should I Do Now?

If you are thinking about modifying your child support, Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, Florida family law lawyer Matthew Z. Martell can be a great help. This Sarasota County and Manatee County family law attorney can assist with all your child support modification issues. Contact the Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell with offices in Lakewood Ranch and also Sarasota at (941) 556-7020 for a 30-minute Free Initial Phone Consultation regarding child support modification.  We are standing by to help you now.

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The Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell located in Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota Florida provides legal services to the following areas: Sarasota, Osprey, Siesta Key, Bird Key, Lido Key, Longboat Key, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Anna Maria Island, Holmes Beach, Palmetto, Ellenton, Parrish, Venice, South Venice, Manasota Key, Englewood, Casey Key, Nokomis and all areas of Sarasota County and Manatee County. Let us help you today.

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