Caring & Experienced Panama City Attorney

Making Changes to a Child Support Order

If you are on the paying or receiving end of child support payments, there may come a time when it will become necessary to make changes to the agreed-upon payment amount. Changes in a parent’s living or employment situation and income are a couple of legitimate reasons for requesting modifications to the support order. In this situation, you should know how these modifications can be made.

How Can I Request a Child Support Modification?

There are two ways that child support modifications can be made. Ideally, you should first see whether you and your ex-spouse can come to a new agreement on the terms of the amount being paid. Getting a judge involved to approve and sign off on the new changes will ensure that the new agreement will adequately and equitably provide for the child within the parent’s new circumstances.

If an agreement cannot be reached, parents can set up a court hearing and present their arguments for the appropriate amount of support before a judge. The judge will then determine whether to implement permanent or temporary modifications by taking into account a parent’s inability to pay due to any of the following circumstances:

  • Job or income loss
  • Incarceration
  • Injury
  • Increases in cost of living
  • Disability

They will also consider any new needs for the child’s care, including any new medical issues/expenses or a significant change in the amount of time the child spends with each parent. When a new agreement is reached, it will remain in place until the child support is no longer needed or until any later modifications are made. Remember that the changes are only valid if made in writing and approved by a judge, even if a verbal stipulation exists between both parents.

If you are a support-paying parent in the Panama City area, contact Seaton Law Offices, P.A. for more information and assistance.