It can happen that the amount of child support, coupled with unexpected situations, can cause hardship for the supporting parent, the other parent, or the child. When this happens, the court can modify the amount of child support for a parent suffering extreme financial hardship because of child support.
Whether you are a supporting (obligor) or non-supporting (obligee) parent, you may be experiencing undue hardship due to child support if:
- You have to legally support another child (natural or adopted – stepchildren not included) out of another marriage and that child is living with you;
- You have high expenses due to failing health or due to uninsured catastrophic losses;
- You have to legally support another person who cannot support himself or herself; or
- You are deep in debt from earning a living or from supporting your family before the separation.
- You lost your job while the other parent’s income increased significantly;
- The amount of child support makes it difficult for you to pay the child support amount; or
- The amount of child support is too little to properly support the child.
A parent who is asking for a modification of the amount of child support must show the court that the standards of living of his or her current household is lower than that of the other parent. The court compares the standards of living of both households by considering the income of every member of both households (not just the co-parent). Afterward the court may order a hardship deduction from the income of the supporting parent or an increase in the child support amount to be paid to the non-supporting parent.
Changes in the amount of child support are not automatic or retroactive so you should file for changes to your child’s support as soon as possible or else you might be losing out on the amount due you.
If you or someone you know is in need of professional representation in a divorce, custody or any other family law situation, don’t hesitate and call the attorneys at the Law Offices of Bowman and Associates at 916-923-2800.