Children do not stop having needs after a divorce or after the ending of a relationship. Raising children is expensive, and it can especially seem that way when means are stretched thin after a divorce. However, supporting a child is the legal responsibility of both parents. Even if you were never married, you can still receive or pay support for your children. The courts will try to maintain the child’s standard of living and will use a variety of factors when deciding on child support amounts, such as income, number of children, and the custody arrangement.
Due to the length of the obligation, the factors that led to the initial determination are likely to change. The support amount can be modified, subject to limitations, if there’s been an important change – especially in either party’s income or custody arrangements. Whether you’re paying or receiving, I can make sure that your child support is both appropriate for your situation and fair, for you and your children.
If you are seeking or opposing a modification to an existing child support order, it’s important to keep this in mind: the order stands until it’s changed by the judge. That means that if you lose your job, or your ex gets a raise, or for whatever other reason you think the amount should be changed, you need to act now. If you or your ex fail to make child support payments, a contempt action can be filed. In that event, consequences for the delinquent parent can include wage garnishment, license suspensions, and even jail time until the past-due amounts are paid.