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Modifications to child support orders after your divorce

Your life will continue to change long after your divorce is final. You may experience financial upheaval, a relocation and a change in how much time you have with your kids. The changes you are going through will probably not stop just because your divorce is final. You may find you continue to go through changes even months and years later.

Some of these changes may affect your ability to meet your divorce-related financial obligations. For example, job changes may impact whether you can pay the full amount of child support you owe each month. If you experienced a change in your financial circumstances that are beyond your control and you can no longer keep up, you may be wondering if you should seek a formal change to your child support order. In some situations, this is possible.

Grounds for a modification

Non-custodial parents have the obligation to financially support their children by sending payments to the custodial parent each month. Several factors can determine how much these payments should be, including your income. If your job changes, it is possible the amount you can afford to pay each month will change as well. For example, if you earn less, you may need to petition the court for a reduction in your monthly payments.

There are other reasons besides a job change to modify a support order. The custodial parent may seek more if you have a significant increase in income or your child has a new need. There are circumstances that justify either a temporary or a permanent change in payment amounts. A review of your case can help you understand if you should move forward in seeking a modification.

What’s next?

If you’ve determined that a modification in your support order is important, you may want to speak to the other parent about your situation. Simply stopping payments or reducing the amount on your own can lead to disputes and complications. A verbal agreement may be helpful before you seek a formal modification.

Any changes in a court order are subject to the approval of the court. Even if you and the other parent agree to a change, it is crucial you follow through with the appropriate legal steps. It may be helpful to first speak with an experienced Colorado family law attorney about how to proceed with changing a child support order.


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