After a divorce, it may seem like the legal decisions are set in stone. However, life changes can happen fast and, sometimes, your divorce negotiations need to change to keep up with other changes in your life. Other times, the circumstances of your children’s lives change, and a modification may be necessary. If the courts have denied your child support modification, the divorce attorneys at The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci can help.
Why Would Child Support Need Modification?
Colorado child support is based on financial factors and the extensive expenses involved in raising a child. If any one of these financial factors changes and there is a shift the financial situation, your child support may need to be modified to correspond with the new situation. Modifications could come in either direction if one parent has less money to offer or more money to offer as financial support. Here are some of the factors that may cause your child support to be modified:
One person’s income has changed
One person’s parenting time has changed
The cost of health insurance or the person who is paying the health insurance has changed
The child no longer needs or begins to need some form of daycare
The child emancipates
One of the parents has a new child from a different relationship
Because parenting situations from family to family can be dramatically different, there are not many hard and fast rules for how much child support is offered or how much it may change after being modified. Judges will use their own discretion in deciding many of the parameters for divorce cases, including child support.
What Is the Difference Between a Continuing Change and a Substantial Change?
There are two different types of child support modification: a continuing change and a substantial change. A continuing change is when the parent’s change of circumstance continues for a reasonably long period of time. The judge of each case must determine how they define “continuing,” so results could be different depending on who the judge is for your case.
A substantial change is when the financial circumstances of one parent change significantly. If the change would adjust child support by 15% or more, it is considered a substantial change. A 15% difference is not a requirement to file for child support modification, it is just the standard that the court uses to determine whether it is significant or not.
Voluntary and Involuntary Changes
When the court looks at a request for child support modification, a large factor is whether the change was voluntary or involuntary. The court has the option to deny a request to pay less child support if they believe you chose to have different financial circumstances. Parents have a foundational obligation to support their child, so if the judge determines you voluntarily put yourself in a situation where that would become difficult, it is likely your request for lower child support will be denied.
Sometimes people have no power over changes in finances. For example, if you were let go from your job or demoted to a significantly lower salary, you experienced an involuntary change and have a higher chance of your child support being modified to take your new situation into account.
What Happens If the Courts Deny My Child Support Modification?
Raising a child is difficult enough without having to worry about receiving enough financial support. If you request child support modification and it is denied, you still have options. An attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in divorce laws can help you find a way to get the child support that you need to raise a happy, healthy child.