For divorcing couples with children, the amount of child support is often the most contentious issue after the custody arrangements for those children. Neither spouse is likely to feel satisfied with the child support order, as people paying often feel they pay too much, while people receiving support feel like it doesn’t cover enough.
Regardless of whether you are the recipient or the person paying support, when your circumstances undergo a substantial and ongoing change, you could potentially ask the courts for a support modification hearing.
What happens at a modification hearing?
As with divorce itself, there are two broad categories of modifications. Your request may be uncontested, meaning that your ex agrees with your request. Otherwise, it will be contested, meaning that the two of you are not in agreement. It is usually wise to get a formal modification regardless of whether you agree with one another or not.
In an uncontested modification scenario, provided that the request complies with state law, the courts are likely to approve it. In a contested scenario, the person asking for the change will need to demonstrate how their circumstances have changed. Showing a drop in income, an increase in expenses due to a medical issue or another substantial change that will persist for some time is critical to your success.
The courts will then make a determination about whether that affects how much child support they should receive or how much they should pay. Like divorce itself, modifications can have ongoing
financial implications for you, which is one reason why getting legal help early in the process is wise.