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Modification of Child Support

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Modification of Child Support

Modification of child support may be necessary if there are changed circumstances from the time the court originally issued a child support order.  If the child visitation schedule changes the number of overnights with the children or the income of a party changes,  you may seek a modification of the previous order by filing a Motion to Modify Child Support.  Frequently, a modification of child support is totally proper; check with an attorney to determine whether a modification in your case is appropriate.  At Graf & Associates, P.C. we handle modification of child support issues on a daily basis.

 

Modification of Child Support:  Updated Financial Information

The process of modification of child support permits you to obtain updated financial disclosures from the other party. Keep in mind that you will also need to provide updated disclosures. The most frequent reason for a modification of child support is an increase in income for the other parent or a decrease in your income. Other financial factors include child related medical and work related day-care expenses.  The cost of health insurance may also alter the calculation.

Before you file a motion to modify child support, the Courts require a good faith effort at solving the issue without involving the Court in a contested hearing.  Colorado law requires parents to exchange basic financial updates each year.  Unless there are more complex issues, the attorney’s at Graf & Associates, P.C. can take your current paycheck or tax return and after answering a few basic questions determine if a modification of child support is appropriate.  Even if an agreement can be reached regarding a modification of child support, that agreement and the appropriate child support worksheet must be filed with the Court and reduced to a support order.

In the event an informal agreement cannot be reached to modify child support, the motion to modify child support must be filed.  Thereafter, the financial disclosure process is commenced.  This will involve providing the other party an updated Sworn Financial Statement, paycheck, tax returns and bank statements.  In complex cases involving self employed individuals or owners of a business, a more thorough investigation may be required.  You are absolutely entitled to see the other party’s financial records.

Modification of Child Support:  Changed Circumstances

Before the Court will order a modification of child support, the changed circumstances must results in a greater than 10% change in the child support calculation. Keep in mind that the modification will be retroactive (date back) to the time you file the motion.   It is important not to delay; as soon as you think there’s been a significant and continuing change, file your motion to modify child support.

Changes in child custody or what in Colorado is referred to as parenting time can have a dramatic effect on the child support calculation.  A parent who exercises less than 92 overnights with their children has their child support calculated using what is referred to as child support worksheet A.  If there is a change in overnights and a parent begins exercising more than 92 overnights with the children each year, a modification of child support almost always occurs.

Increases in pay, child care expenses, and the children’s health insurance and medical expenses are all part of the child support calculation (a child support calculator is located on the child support page).

Modification of Child Support:  Enforcement

Modification of child support is not always the right answer.  In these challenging times, well-meaning parents fall behind in all kinds of bills including child support. A parent may lose a job or  take a pay cut through no fault of there own. It’s a tough call, in these circumstances, whether a parent should go to court and try to modify child support.   The costs for both sides can be more than the resulting modification.  At Graf & Associates, P.C. we can help you analyze whether a modification is appropriate and cost effective.  Likewise, we can help you mediate a settlement of your child support modification.

Even if a modification of child support is not practicable, there are ways to ensure you are paid your child support.  Establishment of a child support registry account, wage assignments from an employer, wage garnishments and bank account garnishments are available remedies to enforce your child support order. play games online for real money