Most parents want to do the best they can for their children, including when it comes to paying child support following a divorce. Sometimes, however, changing circumstances such as a job loss, pay reduction, money lost to illness or injury, or another serious financial blow can leave you reeling – as well as wondering whether you can modify a child support order. In Indiana, there are some situations in which a court will make such adjustments. If you are facing such a circumstance, it’s important to ask for a modification as soon as possible.
A skilled Indianapolis family lawyer at Hessler Law, PC can help you understand whether you might be eligible to have your child support payments reduced, and can also help you work through the process of requesting an order change. Call us at (317) 886-8800, or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Modifying a Child Support Order
The amount of child support you pay in Indiana is based on your weekly gross income. This includes wages, overtime worked, bonuses, tips, and other relevant information. When your income is reduced, you may be eligible to have your child support modified.
There are several instances in which the court might modify your child support order, including:
- When you have experienced a significant and continuing change in your financial circumstances and the amount you are paying is no longer reasonable based on your new circumstances.
- If a new order created under Indiana child support guidelines would change your current order by more than 20 percent. In this situation, your current order must also be at least one year old.
When you request a modification, you’ll be asked to prove that your finances have been reduced. You may be asked to show termination documents from your former employer, pay stubs showing reduced wages, tax forms, or other paperwork.
Requesting a Modification
When seeking a modification, you must go to the same court where the original child support order was made. If that happens to be in another state, you’ll have to register that state’s order in Indiana, then ask the court to change the order.
There are specific forms to fill out when requesting a change to child support. You may also need to make a court appearance unless the other parent has agreed to the change. If the other parent has agreed to the modification, you may not have to go to a hearing, but you still have to ask the court to approve the change. If the other parent is not agreeable to the change, you can expect to go to a court hearing.
Try to Keep Making Payments
If you are having difficulty making your payments, it’s important to request a modification as soon as possible. You can face serious legal consequences if you stop paying and get far behind in child support payments. Even after requesting a modification, keep paying the original child support amount, if you can, until your modification is approved and in place.
When you want to do right by your child, but your circumstances have changed through no fault of your own, life can be very stressful. A family lawyer who understands the child support process in Indiana can help reduce the stress and fight for your rights.
Contact an Experienced Indianapolis Family Lawyer
Hessler Law, PC has helped many parents in the Indianapolis area, and we can help you too. Experienced family law attorney Sean Hessler is highly knowledgeable about child support and custody cases. Contact us today at (317) 886-8800 to schedule a free, initial consultation of your case.