Circumstances change over time, which means your previous child support order may no longer reflect your family’s financial needs. Speaking to a diligent child support attorney can help you determine whether a modification is right for your situation.

A change in a parent’s income, child’s needs, or parenting time may form the basis of a successful modification case. Your finances, as well as your children’s welfare, could be significantly impacted by a child support order. A Gwinnett County child support modification lawyer can help you seek an adjustment to an order based on your family’s new circumstances.

Common Reasons for Altering Child Support

A successful modification under Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-6-15(k) usually requires a substantial change in a child’s financial needs or the income of one of their parents. Other examples of a material change in circumstances include:

  • A child developing new, ongoing medical needs;
  • A parent getting a promotion and significantly higher income; and
  • A parent making a career change that affects their income.

Gwinnett County courts will only review child support orders based on these changes once every two years.

However, O.C.G.A. §19-6-15(k)(2) allows more frequent modifications if a non-custodial parent fails to adhere to parenting time schedules outlined by the previous order. The court will also consider a request to adjust child support based on a parent’s involuntary loss of income regardless of timing. Parents do not always know if their situation qualifies for a new order, but an experienced Gwinnett County child support alteration attorney can provide insight and clarity on these matters.

Defining an Involuntary Loss of Income

If a parent is terminated from their job or experiences a sudden reduction in working hours, a judge may consider it an involuntary loss of income under O.C.G.A. §19-6-15(j). The same is true for a parent who becomes disabled or suffers long term medical issues.

A parent who loses their income should speak to a lawyer in Gwinnett County about modifying child support payments and making sure that orders accurately reflect their current financial situation.

Gwinnett County Court Procedures for Modifying Child Support

A parent seeking a modification must follow state laws and court procedures. The process starts with a parent petitioning the courts to modify their current child support order. A judge may then issue temporary orders, conduct a jury trial to determine the parties’ incomes, or hold a hearing to decide whether to grant the modification.

Modification cases follow the same procedural rules that apply to divorces, and a parent might need to present evidence and testimony to support their position. A party seeking adjustments to a support order would need to establish that they have undergone a material change in circumstances and prove that the proposed modifications are in their children’s best interests. The court may award attorney’s fees or litigation expenses to a successful party, so parents should take these cases seriously.

A local child support modification lawyer can help a parent prepare evidence and strategies for their case. A person looking to change their child support order would benefit from getting a skilled legal professional to help develop their case.

Let a Gwinnett County Child Support Modification Attorney Help

If your family’s income or financial needs have changed, adjusting your child support order might be necessary. You should understand available legal grounds for a modification as well as applicable legal procedures before moving forward. A Gwinnett County child support modification lawyer can review your case and provide you with valuable legal advice. Contact our intake team today to learn more about your options.

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