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Increasing your chances of a getting child support modification

Circumstances change as children get older, and it's very likely that most divorced couples will see at least one child support modification over the course of the support order. Understanding what qualifies as grounds for a child support modification and how best to present your case is an important part of being prepared.

One of the most important parts of trying to modify your child support order is something many people overlook: Talk to the other parent. Because child support is such a hot button issue, parents can have a tendency to go straight to the child support enforcement agency or the family courts without first trying to come to an agreement on a new support amount with the other parent. Taking the time to do this increases the chances that you won't need a long court battle, and if you do, you've shown the judge that you at least tried to work it out with the other parent first.

The other crucial aspect of a child support modification request is that you have to show your cause. This is where the documentation comes in. You must have a reason for the child support modification, and "I don't have enough fun money in my budget" isn't going to cut it. A significant decrease in income that is not your fault or a major change in the financial needs of the child are two examples of valid reasons to look into a modification.

It's also important that you keep making your child support payments in the meantime. Getting a modification can take months, especially if the other parent balks and you end up having to take the case to trial, and being in arrears is not a favorable position going into court.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Support Modification Tips," accessed April 08, 2016

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