Are You Entitled to an Increase in Child Support?
Once a child support order is set by the court, you may feel as though the terms of the order are set in stone. Circumstances in life change, and in some cases, the situation may entitle you to an increase in child support. Either parent may file for child support modification not less than six months after the original order is put in place. As a custodial parent, you need to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that warrants modification of the existing order.
Reasons for Increased Support Order
Substantial changes justifying a request for modification may include:
A substantial increase in the obligor parent’s income via a raise, new job, etc.
Obligor receives a large lump-sum settlement from an injury or workers' compensation case.
A decrease in your income through an involuntary job loss, disability, etc.
Increases in the child’s need due to a disability or other circumstances.
Alteration of custody schedule. If you have your child more time than your prior custody schedule provided for, the court may be willing to increase your support.
Beware of “Self-Inflicted” Circumstances
Should your income drop dramatically due to a voluntary change in employment, such as quitting a high-paying job to take a low-paying job, the court is more likely to deny a request to increase child support payments. The court has the discretion to determine whether a substantial decrease in income has been made to increase an obligor parent’s child support obligation. You would need to show that any reduction in income was made in good faith for the court to grant their request.
Modifications Are Retroactive
Increased support orders are retroactive to the date you first filed your official request for an increase. That’s why it’s important to not delay filing when you know circumstances exist to increase your order. The courts may allow for retroactive increases in child support orders prior to the date you filed. For example, retroactive increases may be ordered if the obligor parent fails to notify the recipient parent of any increases to income via job promotion, the sale of assets, etc.
Our Attorneys Can Fight for Your Child Support Increase
Asking a judge to increase your child support payment may be met with skepticism. It will not be welcome by the obligor parent – in fact, they’re almost guaranteed to be really angry. We encourage you to consult with one of Fiffik Law Group’s experienced child support lawyers to help you fight for your right to increased child support. We have more than 40 years of experience guiding parents through family court and helping them establish and modify child support orders.