In Missouri, if the criteria for modifying child support are valid, you can request a modification.
When you divorce, meeting your children’s emotional, educational, and financial needs and sharing custody with your ex is essential. In divorce proceedings, the court strives to ensure that both parents provide for their children’s ongoing needs. This is done by determining support payments based on the financial situation of each former spouse and the needs of the child or children involved.
Remembering that each parent’s circumstances and children’s needs can change over time is important. In Missouri, if the financial situation of divorced partners has changed, they can request a modification to their child support order. This ensures that the child support payments accurately reflect the current financial circumstances.
When to Seek Child Support Modification
It is appropriate to seek a child support modification when there has been a significant and continuing change in circumstances that would warrant modifying the existing child support order. Some common situations that may qualify for a modification include:
- Change in Income: If there has been a substantial increase or decrease in either parent’s income, seeking a child support modification may be appropriate. This can occur due to job loss, promotion, change in employment, or significant changes in financial circumstances.
- Change in Custody or Parenting Time: If there has been a change in the custody arrangement or the amount of time each parent spends with the child, it may impact the child support obligation. For example, if one parent’s parenting time increases significantly, it could affect the financial responsibilities of each parent.
- Change in the Child’s Needs: If there has been a significant change in the child’s needs, such as medical expenses, educational expenses, or extracurricular activities, it may be appropriate to seek a child support modification to ensure that the child’s needs are adequately met.
- Change in Health Insurance Coverage: If there has been a change in the availability or cost of health insurance coverage for the child, it may be necessary to seek a modification of child support to account for these changes.
The change in circumstances must be significant and ongoing rather than temporary or expected to be short-term. It is also important to follow the legal process and obtain a court order for any modifications to ensure the changes are enforceable and legally binding.
How to Modify Child Support
If the criteria for modifying child support are valid, you can request a modification. Doing so with the help of a family law attorney is essential to ensuring the process is done correctly. To request a modification, you’ll need to:
- Understand the eligibility criteria
- Gather all relevant information
- Contact the family court system
- Obtain and complete the appropriate forms
- File the forms and the original documents with the family court clerk
- provide notice to the other parent
- Attend the scheduled hearing
- Wait for the court’s decision
These steps are a general guideline, and the specific process and forms may vary depending on your location and the circumstances of your case. It is advisable to consult with an attorney specializing in family law to ensure you navigate the process correctly and effectively.
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