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Child Support Modification – Substantial Change

Child Support Modification – Substantial Change

Money is tight during the holidays. If you are paying or receiving child support but you or your ex’s financial circumstances change significantly and constitute a “substantial change,” you or your ex may ask the court to modify the amount of child support the paying parent is obligated to pay. If you are paying or receiving child support, it is important to be aware of the factors the court will consider because this can affect the amount you pay or receive.

A party may file a petition with the court requesting a modification of support because of a substantial change in circumstances. The court may modify the amount of support for one or more of several reasons. These include the paying parent being laid off from their job, being involuntarily removed from the work force by incarceration, the child turning 19, or the paying parent having additional children to support.

The court may also modify support if one parent’s income has decreased involuntarily or increased so as to constitute a “substantial change.” A court may decrease support if the paying parent is laid off from their job and cannot find comparable work, or is incarcerated. The parent must have been laid off and not fired, however. If the parent was fired for incompetence or poor performance the court might not reward them by reducing the support they have to pay. Alternatively, the court may order the paying parent to pay more in support if they have received a significant raise and are much better off financially than when they were initially ordered to pay.

Additionally, a change in the paying parent’s number of dependents can be grounds for child support modification. The court will decrease support owed once the child the parent is paying support for turns 19 and is “emancipated.” Similarly, the court may decrease support owed if the paying parent has additional children. The additional financial responsibility caused by this increase in the number of people the parent must support can constitute a “substantial change” in the parent’s financial circumstances and can be grounds for the court decreasing the support that parent owes.

If you need to modify child support or have questions about whether this is an option for you, contact McNeelyLaw today. Call us at 317-825-5110 to talk to an experienced Indiana family law attorney who can help navigate you through child support modification.

This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.

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