Thursday, July 14, 2016

Can I Have My Child Support Amount Changed?

Yes, child support can be modified, but only through court Order. Parties are legally required to pay the court Ordered child support obligation unless and until there is a change to the original Order.

If there has been a “substantial change in either parent's income and financial status or the needs of the child” a modification of child support can be submitted to the Court.O.C.G.A. §19-6-15 (k). Once the modification is submitted to the Court, it will go through the same process as the original Order for child support: financial information will be obtained, a child support worksheet will be calculated, documents will be reviewed by the Court, then the judge will enter a final Order on the modification.

“In Georgia, a judge may consider increasing or decreasing child support for the following reasons:

  • The paying party involuntarily loses their job or falls ill;
  • Either parent receives additional income through remarriage;
  • Cost of living increase;
  • Physical disability on behalf of either parent;
  • The needs of the child increase;
  • A significant increase in the income of the paying parent; and
  • A change in custody of the child; for instance, the child moves in with the paying parent.”

“You can file for a modification of child support at any time after the original order establishing the support obligation has been entered. However, once child support has been modified by the court as a result of an action filed by you, you cannot file another action for modification for two (2) years from the date of the final order modifying support.”

In some cases, the change in child support can even be processed as an uncontested modification if there are simple agreed upon financial changes. If child support is being processed through The Georgia Division of Child Support Services (DCSS), parties can request a review of the child support obligation for a fee. It is recommended that you contact a local family law attorney to discuss your child support modification concerns.

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