Modifying Child Support Order in Ohio
If you are seeking a modification to a child support obligation in Ohio, our skilled child support modifications attorney in Columbus, OH can help you by providing the court with sufficient evidence to prove the amount you desire should be lowered or raised. As your children grow up and your financial or personal situation changes, you may find yourself needing to modify your child support payments.
At Sheppard Law Offices, we have extensive experience in dealing with child support modification cases and will strive to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. Schedule a free consultation with our trusted Ohio family law attorneys now to learn more about your legal options.
Why Do I Need a Child Support Modifications Attorney in Ohio?
Most people assume that by the time their final dissolution or divorce decree is filed, they are finished having to make important decisions regarding child support, child custody, and spousal support (alimony). Life circumstances often change and require these existing court orders or agreements to be modified.
If you need legal guidance regarding child support modification matters, retaining a credible child support modifications attorney in Columbus, OH can make all the difference in your case. At Sheppard Law Offices, we are dedicated to:
- working diligently with both spouses to negotiate a fair settlement agreement and resolve relationship differences peacefully and productively.
- protecting the rights of children and parents, while achieving the best possible outcome for your current legal situation.
- improving your chances of success in reaching a favorable resolution in your post-decree litigation.
- handling divorce, dissolution, spousal support, child support, child custody, contempt proceedings, modifications, and other family law issues in Ohio.
- providing caring and effective family law, bankruptcy, taxation, probate, and estate planning services to our clients in Columbus.
Our legal team will fight for your rights, your family’s best interest, and your future. Contact us now and schedule a free consultation with our top-ranking Ohio family law attorneys to learn more about what to expect when you request a modification of your child support order.
What is Child Support Modification?
Child support is an ongoing, monthly payment made by one parent to the other parent for the benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or relationship. A child support order includes the obligation to carry health insurance and provide child care expenses. Child support payments are determined by a statutory formula that uses the parents’ income as the determining factor in arriving at the correct child support obligation.
Even if child support has already been formally established by a court, it is still possible to request a child support modification due to a change in circumstances. A child support modification is a change to a child support agreement that is approved by a judge. Whether you need a short-term or permanent child support adjustment, our knowledgeable child support modifications attorney in Columbus, OH can help you learn more about this complex process.
Who Can Request a Child Support Modification?
A modification can be requested by either the custodial or non-custodial parent. If you’re a custodial parent, your children’s financial needs may have changed due to unforeseen circumstances, and caring for them may require additional financial support.
On the other hand, if you’re a noncustodial parent and your employment circumstances change, you might find it harder to pay child support. In either case, it is crucial to seek legal advice from our qualified Columbus child support modifications lawyer to help you take a proactive stance by seeking a resolution.
What are the Common Reasons for Modifying Child Support in Ohio?
Several circumstances may justify a modification of child support as well as methods to go about initiating the process. Our competent Columbus OH child support modifications lawyer can determine your eligibility and help you build a strong case with a higher likelihood of a successful outcome.
Substantial Change in Circumstances
When you’re requesting a child support modification, you must allege and show in the petition that there has been a change in circumstances since the existing order was issued and that the change:
- is substantial
- is involuntary or wasn’t anticipated at the time of the existing support order
- is permanent
If you fail to allege and show this change in circumstances in the petition, the court could dismiss your case.
Increase in Income
If you can prove that the other parent’s income has gone up significantly, you might be able to get the child support amount increased. Depending on your state’s laws, you might also need to convince the judge that the current payment amount is insufficient to meet your child’s needs. In Ohio, around a 30% increase or decrease in income for at least 6 months is necessary before you can get a modification based on the change.
Involuntary Decrease in Income
Because the states’ child support formulas are typically based on parents’ income levels, one of the most common reasons parents ask to have their payments lowered is when they had their work hours reduced, have been laid off, or could no longer work because of long-term illness, disability, or incarceration.
Changes in a Child’s Needs
Children go through several stages toward adulthood, and their expenses can go up and down for various reasons. If there have been significant, ongoing changes in your child’s educational, medical, or other needs, you might get a modification.
Changes in Parenting Time
The amount of parenting time you spend providing hands-on childcare and housing influences your child support amount. For instance, a parent who has less parenting time, such as a couple of weekends a month, generally pays more child support than a parent who has the kids at home multiple days a week.
How Do I Request a Child Support Modification in Ohio?
Asking for a child support modification requires that you meet rigorous standards similar to what you probably had to go through when determining child support. The modification is reviewed according to the parent’s current financial situation. Our experienced Columbus, OH child support modifications attorney can walk you through the entire process and any court proceedings.
The law always considers what’s in the best interests of the child, but there are two main ways to request a modification:
Request an administrative review from the county Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA)
All states have agencies that help parents collect child support. Parents are generally entitled to have the state agency review their existing order once every three years, and sometimes sooner if there has been a significant change in circumstances.
Part of the agency’s job is to review existing child support orders to evaluate whether they need to be adjusted. As part of the review process, the agency will require both parents to submit updated financial information and documentation. If the agency decides that the existing child support order needs to be changed, the agency will generally file a modification request directly with the court.
Request a child support modification in court
To initiate the process, you must first file a modification motion that explains why you believe there’s been a qualifying change in circumstances since the date of the existing support order. Both parents must submit financial affidavits and supporting documentation about their current income, debts, assets, and other expenses.
Next, the court will schedule a hearing on the modification request. Both parents will receive notice of the hearing date. You’ll have the right to appear and argue for or against the requested change. At the hearing, you will need to show substantial evidence to the family court in support of the child support modification. After the judge issues a decision, either parent may file an appeal within a certain period.
Call Our Experienced Child Support Modifications Attorney Now!
Child support remains a very common element in divorced families and co-parenting situations. Because life is always changing, some circumstances require a modification to a child support order. A child support modification can have a substantial impact on your family, children, and future.
If you’re seeking modification of an existing family law arrangement such as a child support agreement, our seasoned Columbus child support modifications attorney at Sheppard Law Offices will provide detailed guidance. We can ensure that all paperwork is filled out completely and correctly. We can also represent you during the court hearing, presenting evidence on your behalf to support your case.
Our family law firm proudly serves clients in Columbus, Mt Vernon, and Newark. We are ready to offer you the comprehensive legal advice you need for family law matters. Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more about how we can help you.