If a child support order was part of your divorce decree, a judge may have based monthly payment amounts on your children’s needs and your incomes, among other factors.
However, as your children grow and life brings other changes, you may find that your original support order no longer reflects the financial realities. In Georgia, you may be able to modify your payment agreement after a significant change in circumstances.
1. When might modification be possible?
The court may consider altering support payments if either you or your spouse have experienced a significant increase or decrease in income, or if your children’s care needs have changed substantially. Examples may include a job loss, pay cut, illness, or changes in your children’s medical, educational, or general care costs.
2. Which parent can request modification?
Either you or your ex-spouse may ask the court to review current support amounts. Upon reviewing the order, a judge may raise or lower payments based on a variety of factors, including your incomes, custody arrangements, and expenses related to raising your children.
3. Do you need court approval to change payments?
If you and your ex-spouse are on good terms, you may want to try to come to an informal agreement about payment amounts. However, this could lead to legal issues down the road, especially if your relationship with your ex later deteriorates.
If you are having trouble keeping up with child support payments, it is important to seek modification early. While the court may lower support amounts after review, the process can take several months. Until you receive court approval, your monthly obligations will remain the same.