After a court issues a child support order, circumstances often change among parents. In Alabama, it is possible to petition the court to modify the original child support order. Parents can request minor changes to the original order. However, it is critical to get the changes in writing in a formal modification, even with slight changes.
Reasons to Modify a Child Support Order
To modify the original child support order, you must show a change of circumstances that warrants the change. The Alabama Administrative Office of Courts has provided guidelines for reasons a child support order could be modified. These include:
- Both parties agree to change the child support terms.
- One party presents evidence to the court that the original guidelines are unjust or inequitable.
- Shared physical custody or visitation rights have increased for the payor of child support.
- As the children get older, their expenses (e.g., college tuition or car payments) could increase.
- A change of circumstances has occurred for at least one parent, such as unemployment, income change, health problems, disability, or incarceration.
- Alterations of the parenting schedule.
If the court agrees to a modification, the order could be temporary or permanent. For example, a temporary modification could be for a large, one-time disbursement, such as if a child has a medical emergency or there was an unexpected large expense.
If there is an ongoing change in the child’s needs or the parent’s ability to pay, the court could order a permanent modification. For example, if the child has medical issues that will require ongoing treatment, a permanent order could address the additional costs.
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Process for Modifying Child Support in Alabama
The Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration clearly define the procedure to follow to modify child support:
- Both parties sign a fair written agreement stating the new amount and the reasons for the change.
- The court examines the evidence and determines if the current guidelines are unjust or inequitable.
Our attorneys can help you file the paperwork needed to begin the modification process. We can also help gather any evidence or documentation you may need to support your side of the modification request.
Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support Modifications
If you are wondering how to modify your child support arrangements, here is more information.
How do I Request a Child Support Modification?
Our attorneys will help you fill out the necessary forms. For example, to prove a change in your financial situation, you will need the following documents:
- Bank statements
These documents can prove your current financial situation to the judge, helping them make their ruling.
Keep in mind that a filing fee is involved with petitioning a child support modification in Alabama. In addition, this can sometimes be a lengthy process, so it is essential to make sure you fill the forms out correctly and completely. Our attorneys can answer any questions you have while completing the forms.
What Happens at a Child Support Modification Hearing?
Both parents will arrive at the scheduled child support modification hearing. Each parent will present the evidence that supports their side. Our attorneys will assist you with preparing for the hearing, so you have everything you need to present your side. After the hearing, a judge will make their determination.
Who Can Ask for a Child Support Modification?
Either parent can petition the court for a modification of child support. For example, depending on the change in circumstances, you could ask the court for more support or to pay less. When petitioning the court, you must have evidence to show the change in child support is warranted.
Why Should I Work With Charlotte Christian Law for a Child Support Modification?
At our firm, we protect you from unfair child support rulings. Your family deserves caring and experienced representation. We understand that your circumstances at the time of the first child support hearing may have changed. Therefore, we will create an agreement that keeps the child’s interests foremost while also focusing on your needs.
Sometimes, your co-parent does not follow the original child support ruling. If this happens, we can petition the courts to enforce your agreement. We are here to listen and help you reach an agreement, so you have the necessary resources moving forward.
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When either parent would like a child support modification, getting expert advice from a family lawyer can be helpful. Our award-winning attorneys have tried hundreds of cases and saved clients millions of dollars. We understand you are going through a stressful time, so we treat each client with kindness and generosity. The attorneys at Charlotte Christian Law have experience handling these types of cases and will advocate for you. Call us today or use our contact form to schedule a case review.