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What's the process for modifying child support?

Child support is essential to ensure your child's material needs continue to be met. However, financial hardships like illness or loss of employment can affect your ability to pay. In this case, the best course of action is to request a modification by the court, which can be provided on a temporary or permanent basis. The Balance explains the process of requesting a child support modification. 

It helps to understand why modifications are often requested. Along with unexpected changes in income, which can happen for all sorts of reasons, the needs of your child might also change. For example, a child might become involved with an extra-curricular activity that incurs a huge expense. A child may also need expensive medical treatment, such as dental care, that isn't covered by his or her insurance. Since both parents are expected to contribute to child-rearing financially, these costs will be distributed evenly. 

While decreases in income can result in a lower child support payment, an increase in income may result in a higher amount being requested. Along with the child's needs, both parents income are considered when calculating child support. Accordingly, if the non-custodial parent is privy to an inheritance or some other influx of money, the court may deem it necessary to request additional funds. 

Increases or decreases will be on a temporary basis when the reason is not expected to be long-lasting. In the case of medical treatment, if a child will require ongoing care to deal with a lasting medical issue, child support will increase on a permanent basis. In either case, it's important to work closely with your attorney when it comes to making changes to child support.  


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