Child support is an essential aspect of ensuring the well-being of a child following their parents’ separation or divorce. In Georgia, the court determines the amount of child support one parent pays to another using specific guidelines. However, circumstances can change over time, necessitating a reevaluation of the original child support agreement.
A child support modification is a legal change to the original child support order. Understanding the reasons that may justify such modifications can help parents ensure they are providing the right level of financial support for their children. Consider the most common reasons to request a child support modification.
Significant income changes
If the paying parent’s income decreases substantially due to job loss or other unforeseen circumstances, they may request a decrease in child support payments. Conversely, if the parent’s income increases significantly, the other parent may request an increase in support.
Changes in the child’s needs
Sometimes, the child’s needs change. This could be due to increased educational costs, medical expenses or other significant changes in the child’s circumstances. For instance, if a child develops a medical condition that requires expensive treatment, this could justify a modification.
Changes in custody or visitation
If the noncustodial parent begins spending more time with the child, this could decrease the amount of child support that parent must pay. On the other hand, if they spend less time with the child, this could result in an increase in child support.
Moving forward with a modification request
The court will always consider the best interests of the child when considering a request for a child support modification. If the court believes a modification is in the child’s best interests, it will adjust the child support order accordingly.
It is essential for parents to stay informed about these guidelines to ensure that their children receive the most support possible.