Facts about the Child Support Modification template

What is a Child Support Modification?

When parents get a divorce, they are both still responsible for providing for the child financially. If the child primarily lives with one parent, the other one will often pay child support payments to assist with basic necessity expenses such as housing, food, health care, clothing, education, and transportation. Each state uses different calculations for figuring out the amount of child support payment, but, in general, guidelines are based on the number of children, the custody arrangement, that payor’s income, and certain health care expenses.

Because things change, such as the needs of a child or an increase or decrease in the paying parent’s income, sometimes the current child support order needs to change. The parent that experiences a change in living or financial circumstances can request child support modifications. A modification must be approved by the same court that ordered the original support agreement, and regular payments must be made until the modification is approved.

Each state is different in regard to modification laws. For example, in Illinois, a custodial parent can request a modification every three years without needing to prove a substantial change in life situations. In Florida, modification can be requested any time a change is greater than 15% or $50.However, in other states, modifications are limited and require a greater change in circumstances.

What is a Child Support Modification used for?

A child support modification form is used when there are changes in the life of one or both of the parents that either make it difficult to pay the original child support payments or require a higher support amount. If parents agree on the change, they can write up a child support modification agreement and then submit it to the court for approval. If they do not agree, one parent can fill out a court form to submit a modification request. There will then be a court date assigned to review the situation and to grant or deny child support changes.

Why should you use a Child Support Modification?

Child support is ordered by the court, and not paying it has legal ramifications. To request any modification, it must also be approved by the court. Filling out a child support modification form is the legal route. Even when parents decide on their own on an agreeable modification, the court must approve it as it must be in line with what is best for the child.

A parent may also request a review of the current child support agreement, if necessary. If situations change, and a modification is not requested or approved, the payor can face consequences, such as wage garnishment, driver’s license suspension, a warrant for arrest, property liens or withholding of tax refunds if court-ordered payments are not made.

How to write a Child Support Modification?

There are court forms that contain all the necessary information to request child support modification. However, parents can also fill out their own modification. In this situation, parents should ensure there are certain elements that are included as it will be reviewed by a judge in court and must be legally sound. A good child support modification should include:

  • Effective dates: It is essential to fill in the correct date the modification was requested or agreed upon, as some states only allow modification requests after a certain amount of time has passed after the last support order.

  • Names of each parent and roles in child support: List the names of each parent and if they are the receiver or payor of child support payments.

  • Children information: Include all minor children and their birthdates.

  • Child support information: This is the modified amount each parent agrees upon. It should include the specific amount and the date it must be paid by. It should also state that the arrangement is not legally binding until approved by the court.

  • Tuition expenses, if applicable: This outlines how the parents will divide school-related expenses.

  • Medical insurance: This states who is responsible for medical insurance for each child.

  • Changes in circumstances: If parents cannot agree to a modification, the requesting parent should outline what changes have occurred that require a change in payment so the judge can review.

  • Signatures: Both parents should sign and date, and there should also be witness signatures as well.

How to Fill Out a Child Support Modification with PDFSimpli in Five Steps?

  • 1. Prepare:

    Child support modification, once approved by the court, is legally binding and has serious consequences if not followed. Each parent should think about what should be included and make sure all elements are correct. Double-check the agreed-upon amount, make sure all necessary expenses are covered and ensure the payor is able to afford the payment each and every month.

  • 2. Choose the Right Software:

    Parents can choose to compose their own child support modification form. However, it is much easier and faster to use a template, but not all software programs provide user-friendly capabilities. PDFSimpli offers users a variety of child support modification templates that include all the necessary information and are easy to fill out. Choose the one that fits your situation the best and fill it out online.

  • 3. Fill Out the Form:

    Using PDFSimpli, fill in all requested information, which is usually highlighted so it is easy to see. Users can use the exact wording on the form or change it. They can also add any necessary information. If you properly prepare, filling out this form should only take a few minutes.

  • 4. Review Information:

    Again, this is a legal document, so it is important to review the document to make sure all information is correct. Double-check the date, spelling of names, payment amount and other important information. Once you ensure everything is correct, both parties should sign the form.

  • 5. Save, Download and Print:

    You can save your work as you go along and return to the form if you need to take a break. Once you review and agree with the completed document you can save it so you can access it at any time. You can then print the form for your records, send it to other parties and even sign it electronically.

Child Support Modification Frequently Asked Questions

A parent cannot request a modification just because he or she doe not like the amount of payment. Some valid reasons for modification include a change in employment status, change in earnings, changes in children’s needs, change in marital status, unforeseen medical circumstances, change in custody arrangement or the original agreement seems unfair.

A modification does not legally take effect until the court approves it. A modification request must also be submitted to the court that ordered the original child support agreement, so submitting the form to the wrong court can delay approval. There are also legal consequences if the payor stops payment or pays less than the current agreed-upon amount.

The laws regarding modification requests vary greatly from one state to another. Some allow them at any time and do not require substantial life changes. Others require a certain amount of time to pass since the current order approval or require proof of substantial changes in circumstances. Parents should research what the laws are in their state so they do not waste time on a modification request if the court will not consider it.