Lawrenceville Attorneys Ensure Child Support Orders Are Fair To You And Your Children
In these trying economic times, the most common situations leading to a child support modification are unemployment and underemployment. If you lose your job or take a pay cut, your child support obligation doesn't change automatically. Don't wait until the custodial parent decides to sue you for contempt, because child support modifications are not retroactive. That means if you lose your job in January, and you wait until May to file for a modification, you will still owe the full amount up until the Final Order on the modification is entered. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security just because the other parent says he or she agrees to less child support until you get your job back. Unless the court modifies the order, you still owe the full amount.
The converse situation can also be a basis for modification, if the non-custodial parent was unemployed at the time of the divorce, but now they have found work. Your child may be entitled to more support than he or she is currently getting. Again, modifications aren't retroactive, so it's important to act quickly or you might short change your children.
Georgia completely overhauled its child support laws in 2005. These days the formula for calculating child support is quite complicated, taking into account the custodial parent's income, child care, health insurance, shared physical custody, and many other factors. That is not to say that any change will allow you to modify the child support order from your divorce or legitimation, there must be a "substantial change in either parent's income and financial status or the needs of the child." There are also the new timing requirements and their accompanying exceptions to consider.
You may need to file for a modification of child support if:
- The non-custodial parent has been exercising more parenting time than is laid out in the court order
- There is an involuntary loss of income for either parent
- Either parent has a significant increase in income
- Any of the child's needs, including additional child care or health insurance, have increased substantially
If you believe there has been a change big enough to justify a child support modification, you need to consult an experienced lawyer before jumping into a modification. The attorneys at our Lawrenceville office understand the complex ins and outs of the new laws and will make sure your child support order is appropriate for your family's circumstances.
Contact our Lawrenceville law office at 770-604-1380.
From our office in Lawrenceville, our lawyers represent clients in communities throughout Walton County and Gwinnett County, Georgia. Call us at 770-604-1380 or contact us by email to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced Lawrenceville family law attorneys today.