Things to remember when trying to modify child support


When Virginians decide to get divorced, they may struggle to deal with the financial realities of the matter. A significant portion of the couple's assets may be subject to property division, they might be ordered to pay alimony and child support may be ordered by the court or agreed to amongst the parties. Though it may seem overwhelming, not all of these issues are forever laid to rest once a final agreement or adjudication is reached. Instead, if appropriate, an individual may be able to seek modification, as is the case with child support.

Child support modification often arises when there has been a change in circumstances. The noncustodial parent who is responsible for making the support payments may suddenly lose his or her job or be hit with an unexpected and costly medical condition. In these instances, the noncustodial parent may be able to obtain a child custody modification in order to ease his or her financial burden.

However, it is imperative that those owing child support act immediately to modify if he or she decides to do so. Until the modification is granted, the full support amount will be due. Therefore, any unpaid amount will be in arrears, potentially leading to even more financial strain. Also, those considering seeking modification should also be sure to document his or her change in circumstances. This could mean maintaining detailed medical and employment records as well as keeping track of how an attempt to remedy the problem was made, such as searching for new employment.

Though a modification must be approved by the court, a judge does not have to be the ultimate decider on the matter. The parties themselves can work towards an agreement that is fair and keeps the child's best interests at heart. However, it is still important for those seeking modification to think about consulting with an attorney to ensure that his or her legal rights are protected and that they are not tricked into accepting an arrangement that is detrimental to their interests.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Support Modification Tips," accessed on Sep. 13, 2015

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