Child support orders should accurately reflect the financial circumstances of parents and their children as well as parenting time between both parties. It follows that child support orders may need to be modified as a family’s circumstances change.

A Johns Creek child support modification lawyer can offer valuable advice about how to petition a local family court for an alteration to your current order. You can benefit from the experience and knowledge of a dedicated child support attorney when modifying a court order, especially if your co-parent does not agree with you.

Legal Procedures for Modifying Child Support

Either parent may petition the court to change an existing child support order as long as their circumstances qualify under Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-6-15(k). Procedural rules for child support modifications are no different than in divorce cases.

Depending on the issues, these cases can become lengthy and complex. A judge may issue a temporary modification under O.C.G.A. §19-6-15(k)(4) in certain situations. Additionally, either party may request a jury trial – but only for help with determining the parties’ incomes.

A claimant and their legal representative must also present evidence to support their position, testify in court, and cross-examine the opposing party. A Johns Creek child support adjustment attorney can help you avoid the adverse effects associated with failing to follow procedural rules.

Evidence and Discovery

State law requires each party to provide the other with certain financial disclosures and other relevant information. This process is known as discovery and is meant to give both parties a fair chance to present their cases.

A person would also need to present reliable evidence of their income such as tax returns or check stubs. Without such evidence, O.C.G.A. §19-6-15(4)(b) allows a jury to estimate income based on the information they have, which could include testimony from the opposing party.

If a person does not follow discovery rules or provide enough evidence in court, they may not achieve a positive outcome. Experienced legal counsel can guide a person through presenting a strong case.

Grounds for Changing Child Support Orders

A parent may only file a petition to modify child support if they have legal grounds to do so. According to state law, a petition may be filed if either party experiences a material change in circumstances. Examples of qualifying situations include:

  • A non-custodial parent fails to exercise their parenting time;
  • A non-custodial parent regularly exercises more parenting time than ordered;
  • A parent involuntarily loses income;
  • The financial circumstances of one or both parents increase substantially; and
  • The needs of the children change significantly.

What constitutes a significant change in circumstances largely depends on the facts of each case, and parties may disagree on whether the courts should modify support. For example, parents may not agree about their children’s needs have changed significantly or whether a job termination qualifies as an involuntary loss of income under O.C.G.A. §19-6-15(j). A Johns Creek lawyer can help you discern these issues and fight for a child support modification that works best for your family’s news needs.

Let a Johns Creek Child Support Modification Attorney Help Today

A change in circumstances can have a serious impact on a parent’s income and a child’s access to support. A Johns Creek child support modification lawyer can argue for terms that will benefit you and your kids.

Following evidentiary rules and presenting a strong case could help put you in a better financial position and help you avoid negative consequences. Call our intake team to start discussing the details of your case.

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