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Child Support Modification

Modification of Child Support Orders

Both parents are responsible for supporting their children, but when one parent has primary residential responsibility, the child’s other parent usually responsible for making child support payments.  These payments are intended to give the child or children the best quality of life possible.  However, a support order may need to be changed when circumstances for either parent or the child change over time. At Hays Johnson Law P.C., in Minot, I represent parents throughout North Dakota who seek to modify child support payments.

There are options for parents to modify child support orders as circumstances change either by agreement or by request to the Court

Child support awards and agreements are based on the circumstances of the parents at the time of the proceedings and the foreseeable needs of the child or children. Changes in the lives of either parent or in the needs of the child may necessitate revisiting the amount of support awarded to account for life changes.

Understanding how a support order is modified

Often, the need to change a child support order is obvious. Unfortunately, this process is not always a simple one.  State and local child support enforcement agencies conduct reviews of support but do not always proceed to the court to make a change when it might be justified.  When the parents do not agree, I represent you in court to get a support order changed.

Reasons for modifying a support order

The desire or need to change a support order is often based on the changing circumstances of one of the child’s parents. In other cases, it is based on a child’s changing needs. Some of the many common reasons why parents seek to have the amount of support increased or reduced include:

  • Loss of a job or source of income
  • Increased income
  • Incarceration of a parent
  • A need to support other children
  • Substantial financial hardship medical disability
  • New educational expenses
  • Additional expenses for activities such as sports or extracurricular activities

I have experience helping Minot parents successfully get their child support orders modified for a wide variety of reasons.

You need to go through the courts to make changes

Financial problems or the changing needs of your children may alter your circumstances. Still, you must continue to pay child support at the current level until the court modifies your order. Sometimes parents believe that they can decide on their own to decrease or stop child support payments. This is almost never true. In reality, failing to follow a child support order can lead to fines, revocation of licenses, or even imprisonment. I help you petition expeditiously for a modification to avoid undue hardship.

Even in the case of a drastic and obvious change such as being arrested and jailed, you cannot stop making your child support payments without the permission of a judge. While you are in jail, all of those payments will keep adding up and you may never be able to have the debt discharged. If you cannot make your payments for any reason, you need to speak with me right away.

Enforcing child support agreements

If your spouse or paying parent has fallen behind on child support payments, you may need assistance to collect the money that rightfully belongs to your child. I guide parents through the process of enforcing a child support order when the child support agencies may not have been of assistance.

Contact an experienced North Dakota family law attorney

Call Hays Johnson Law P.C. at 701-839-3646 or contact me online to schedule a consultation with a family law attorney in Minot, North Dakota.

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