As a divorced parent, meeting your children’s needs is likely your main priority. When you and your former spouse split up, they may have received an order to provide child support to help you do so. The order might have seemed fair upon your divorce. But its terms may now be outdated. If you feel your order needs modification, it’s important to understand whether your circumstances allow it.
If you or your former spouse have experienced major changes in circumstances, Indiana courts may allow you to modify your child support order. This type of modification may happen if one of you lost your job or found a higher-paying position. The court may also consider your request if your current order deviates from guidelines. If there is a 20% difference between the amount of support you would receive today and the amount awarded in your divorce, you may be able to modify your order. Keep in mind that you can only motion for this change if your order is at least one year old.
Changes in your children’s circumstances may also require a child support modification. One of your children may be turning 19 soon. If they are an only child, the support you receive for them will terminate. Yet, if they have minor siblings, the amount of support you receive will remain the same, barring any requests for modification. Furthermore, one of your children may become disabled or require significant medical attention. In this case, your order can change to provide for the associated care and treatment costs. And if you and your former spouse make changes to your custody agreement, these could affect your support order as well.
Modifying your order
If you and your former spouse agree on modifying your child support order, you will need to file a request to receive court approval. Yet, you two may disagree about the proposed modification. In this case, you will petition the court to change your order. You will then attend a hearing where a judge will rule whether it requires modification or whether its terms will stand.
Modifying your child support order may seem difficult to accomplish. But by knowing how and when you can do so, you can provide your children with the resources they need to thrive.