If you are having problems with child support, you may not know what your next step should be. Before you call an attorney, here is some information about common issues people face when dealing with child support obligations.
Problems with Child Support | Changing an Obligation
Sometimes a child will no longer live with either parent, and one parent is paying child support to the other. That parent should go to court right away and try to change the child support obligation and try to eliminate it. Child support is not payable to a parent who does not have their child living with them. If the child is away at college, the courts consider that a temporary relocation of the child and that will not trigger a change in the child support obligation. If the child moves out of the house, is not in school, and is no longer being supported by that parent, typically the courts will allow the child support obligation to be terminated even if the child has not yet turned 21 or is otherwise emancipated.
Problems with Child Support | Modifications Based on Job Loss
Sometimes after a child support order is entered, there is a change in circumstances. Those changes in circumstances can include loss of employment or a change in the custody of the child. Those issues can be readdressed in court. If a parent loses their job based on a fault not of their own, they are typically entitled to change their child support obligation. On the other hand, if they quit their job or get fired, the court is generally not going to allow them to use that as an excuse to change their child support amount. Additionally, if their income increases significantly, the other parent could take them back to court and ask for more child support.
Problems with Child Support | Modifying an Obligation if the Child Changes Residency
Child support is paid by the parent who has the child less to the parent who has the child more. Sometimes that changes. If the child comes to live with the other parent, that parent needs to file right away in court to get the child support to be changed. That parent then is no longer obligated to pay child support for that child and is actually entitled to get child support from the other parent.
Problems with Child Support | Delay in Filing
Sometimes there is a change in circumstances that requires an order to be changed. A change in the child support obligation should be filed immediately to avoid losing the right to get a change. Only a new child support order can change an old child support order. The parent who is paying child support should be the one to file, because the parent receiving child support should not be relied on to do so. That would be unenforceable. In some cases, the parent who has the child but didn’t change the child support order was still obligated to pay child support for the period up until they filed the petition to change that.
If you have any problems with child support that you would like to address with an attorney, please call our office today for a free consultation with Rochester child support attorney Michael Schmitt.