HOW TO WIN A CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION CASE
Like many Colorado Springs parents, you may be be considering a way to modify a child support order. In this article, we discuss the process of creating the request to modify an existing order and also provide some tips on how to win your case.
Even if you’ve been through a divorce or separation, be advised that modifying a child support order can be very contentious. Remember that every situation is unique, so you should speak with an attorney if you have any specific questions about your case. By following these steps, you will have a good chance of success.
CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION
Has there been a material and substantial change in either parents circumstances since the order was put into place? If so, there are certain steps you must take in order to improve your chances of success.
- You must file a motion with the court that approved the original child support order request.
- This motion must explain your reason for a modification request and fully document what has changed since the original order was put into place.
- You must serve the other parent with a copy of your motion.This can be done by mailing it or by delivering it in person. Once they have received it, they will have 21 days to respond.
There are several grounds on which a modification based on material and substantial change in circumstances is warranted, including:
- A change in income for either parent, such as a pay increase or loss of a job
- A change in the child’s custody arrangement
- An increase or decrease in child care costs
- One parent is now paying for childcare expenses not previously taken into account
- A change in the number of children living with each parent (such as when a child turns 18)
- A change in the child’s health and life insurance coverage
Your request must explain your reason for a modification request and what has changed since the original order was put into place.
WELL BEING OF THE CHILD
You will also need to prove to the court that the modification is in the child’s best interests. The court will consider several factors when making this determination, including but not limited to:
- The child’s physical, mental, and emotional health
- The standard of living each parent can provide for the child
- The child’s educational expenses
- The child’s relationship with each parent
REQUESTING A CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION
DOCUMENT CHANGES IN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES
Highlight the substantial changes in your circumstances since the original order was put in place.
This could be a change in income, job loss, or living situation. If you cannot pay child care because of your loss of jobs or a lack of money, you have to look for a better career and document your attempt. Make sure you accurately report the total household income and expenses down to the penny.
And most importantly, you must demonstrate that the proposed child support arrangement is in the child’s best interest. The child’s age, mental and physical health, and educational needs when deciding to grant your motion.
If you can do all of these things successfully, you stand a good chance of winning your child support modification case.
FILE A MOTION TO MODIFY CHILD SUPPORT
To modify a child support order, you must file a motion to the presiding court requesting a modification of child support. Your request must include the following:
- The request must be signed and accompanied by a notarized Sworn Financial Statement.
- In your request, detail why you’re asking for a new amount, as well as the new amount you’re asking for.
- You must use an approved calculator to come up with the new figure.
- Include a Child Support Calculation Worksheet that details your calculations.
We recommend working with an attorney to ensure that everything is done correctly, and that your request clearly explains why you are seeking a modification and what has changed since the original order was put in place.
CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION HEARING
It’s likely that you will have to attend a hearing regarding your support modification request.
The presiding judge has up to 49 days after you have submitted all of the required information to rule on your request without a hearing, or schedule a hearing for further examination of your request. If a hearing is scheduled, it’s recommend that you consult with an attorney to assist you with your request.
CHILD SUPPORT ORDERS
The purpose of a child support is to ensure that the child’s basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, and educational needs are met.
Colorado Springs child support orders are typically issued by a county court judge. Once an order is in place, it is up to the non-custodial parent (the parent who does not have primary physical custody) to make payments. If the non-custodial parent falls behind on child support payments, he or she may be subject to wage garnishment, tax offset, or other enforcement actions.
A court will typically issue an order after reviewing the income of both parents and making a determination based on the needs of the child. However, in some cases, one parent may feel that the other parent is not paying their fair share. If this is the case, the parent may file a modification case requesting to change child support terms.
CHILD SUPPORT ORDER CALCULATIONS
It’s essential to understand how child support payments are calculated in the state. The Colorado Child Support Guidelines use a formula that considers both parents’ incomes, the number of overnight stays with each parent, and other factors such as whether either parent has other minor children living in the home.
Once you have a clear understanding of how child support is calculated under Colorado law, you can begin to build your case for why a modification is necessary. Suppose your income has changed significantly since the original order was entered. In that case, you may be able to show that you cannot meet your current obligations without a modification.
Similarly, suppose the child’s custody arrangement has changed, and the child now spends more time with you than was previously the case. In that case, you may be able to argue that the original support order no longer reflects the child’s needs.
If you seek a child support modification in Colorado, remember to consider these critical points. By understanding how child support is calculated and building a solid case for why a modification is necessary, you will improve your chance of success.
CONTACT AN ATTORNEY
You must consult with an experienced child support attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can improve your chances of success in getting a child support modification order.
Colorado child support law is complex, and it is vital to have experienced legal representation on your side. If you are seeking to modify a child support order to either decrease or increase your child support payment, contact an experienced child support attorney.