Child support payments are designed to help divorced parents cover the costs of caring for a minor child. In Georgia, judges take a parent’s child support obligations very seriously, and there are significant consequences for failing to follow through on payments. However, certain life changes can necessitate changing child support orders.

It is ill-advised to make unofficial changes to support payments without court involvement, as any noncompliance may not be addressed with legal action. Taking the right steps to modify child support can protect you from potentially violating a court order. If you believe your existing order needs to be changed to reflect new circumstances, seek the counsel of a skilled Cherokee County child support modification lawyer.

Limits on Seeking Child Support Modifications

In general, parents seeking to modify child support can only do so every two years. However, a change of at least 25 percent in a parent’s income will exempt the parties from the two-year modification limit. A Cherokee County lawyer can help parents file the necessary petition to properly modify child support.

What Happens when a Parent Experiences a Sudden Loss of Income?

One of the most common reasons a person may seek a modification of child support is job loss or a reduction in income. If a parent loses their job, child support payments do not automatically change to reflect the sudden loss of income. Instead, payments will remain in the ordered amount until either parent files a petition to modify child support.

It is important to understand that someone who experiences a sudden loss of income does not have the right to unilaterally stop paying child support, as the court must approve of a modification to the existing order. If the paying parent loses their job, either party could seek a modification of child support.

If a parent tries to stop paying child support without filing the appropriate documents and obtaining approval from the court, they risk having to provide back pay to the receiving parent. A local attorney can help put together the necessary documents and petition the court for a modification that reflects a family’s new circumstances.

What Happens when a Parent Starts Earning More Income?

A job loss can lead to a decrease in child support, but an increase in income can also raise a parent’s financial obligation. If either parent begins earning significantly more income, the lesser-earning parent may request additional child support. One of our lawyers can help a parent prove to the court that additional support is warranted from a co-parent earning significantly more income.

Does Child Support Have to be Modified if Custody Changes?

Parents may have a compelling argument for a change in support based on a change in custody. If the non-custodial parent is granted more time with the kids based on a substantial change in circumstances, this could warrant modifying child support payments as well. A Cherokee County child support alteration attorney can help parents advocate for their children’s best interest in court.

Hiring a Cherokee County Child Support Modification Attorney

A Cherokee County child support modification lawyer can help you understand your rights and the steps you will need to take to update your or your ex’s obligations. Waiting to start the process can create unnecessary obstacles, so don’t delay. If you are paying or receiving child support and believe that a significant life change necessitates modifying the existing order, reach out to our team today.

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