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Once a court puts a child support order in place or a couple reaches an arrangement through a court-approved separation agreement or consent order, the support obligations outlined in that order will generally stay active and remain unchanged until the child in question turns 18 or emancipates from their parents. However, co-parent’s situations can change from year to year, and support orders that were equitable when they were first established do not always remain that way.
For this reason, State law allows parents to petition to change their previous arrangement, a process which a seasoned child support attorney could provide vital assistance with. In addition to collecting and preserving evidence necessary to support your case, your dedicated Charlotte child support modification lawyer could help you navigate common legal obstacles and protect your rights as you work towards the arrangement you need.
Both custodial and non-custodial parents can request child support modifications, seeking either a decrease or increase in the amount of support the non-custodial parent must provide. In either scenario, the person filing the petition has the burden of proving that a “substantial change in circumstances” has made the existing arrangement unsustainable and that a modification is the only way to make things fair on everybody while protecting the child’s best interests.
State courts use a standardized set of Child Support Guidelines to establish each spouse’s initial child support obligations. If three or more years pass and each spouse’s situation has changed enough to cause a 15 percent or more variation in their child support calculation, modifying the existing order might be an option. Alternatively, the petitioning parent can demonstrate that their own circumstances, their co-parent’s circumstances, and/or the child’s needs have dramatically changed due to:
A Charlotte child support modification attorney could assess your situation and help you build a strong petition based on any of these common situations.
Requesting a modification to a child support order requires filling out a few different forms and submitting them alongside copies of any relevant identifying documents to the state Civil Filing Department. Once the department processes this information, the court will set a date for a hearing, during which both parents can present evidence and testimony in favor of modifying the order or keeping it the same.
It may take a month or two to get this hearing on the court’s calendar, but if the court decides during the hearing that a modification is warranted, they can institute the proposed modification immediately. However, proceeding with this sort of case without help from a child support modification lawyer in Charlotte could substantially lengthen the process and complicate your claim.
No child support order is meant to last forever, and sometimes it becomes necessary to change an arrangement for the good of everyone involved. That said, the legal process for requesting a change can be more challenging than you might expect, and you may have a tough time arguing for the change you need without professional legal guidance.
Retaining a Charlotte child support modification lawyer should be your top priority if you want to adjust the obligations set out in your support order. Call today to learn more about this process.