Deadbeat Dads and the Need for Child Support Laws

Modifying Child Support and/ or Custody

The amount of Child Support is modifiable under certain circumstances and through a variety of methods. When there is no voluntary agreement between the parents, the party seeking the change must request a Court hearing to Modify Child Support.  Prior to the hearing, the parties have the opportunity to conduct “discovery”, to conduct depositions and obtain relevant financial information from the opposing party.  This approach is often times necessary when one side is not honest about their income.  At the hearing, each each side will present, usually through counsel, the reasons supporting or opposing the change or modification of Child Support. The Court usually will not grant the request unless there has been some fairly significant change in circumstances that justifies the change, such as a significant increase or decrease in either parent’s income through a remarriage or job change or a substantial change in the financial needs of the child.  Changes in the child support laws, too, may justify a change in previously issued Orders.  Of course, the simplest method is for the parents to agree to a change, but the Court must approve even an agreed-upon change in order to be legally enforceable.

“Modifying Custody” or “Re-Allocation of Parental Rights and Responsibilities” generally means that after a Divorce has been finalized, or an initial Allocation of Parental Rights and Responsibilities has been Ordered, one party requests a change in the terms of the initial Divorce or Order relative to the minor children at issue.  This usually occurs when a “change of circumstances” has occurred. Custody may be modified when something changes which adversely effects the parties’ minor children.  Modifications of Custody can take many shapes and sizes, and can be very simple or extremely contentious and emotionally charged.  It is critical to seek experienced and aggressive legal counsel before making a decision on whether or not to seek a modification of any Court Order.

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Deadbeat Dads and the Need for Child Support Laws