Divorce can be a difficult process, not only for parents but for the children involved as well.
Even after parents file for divorce, children still require financial support from both their mother and father. Child support is designed to bridge the financial gap children often experience when their parents get divorced.
Once the child support amount is set in the final divorce settlement, however, it is not permanent, according to Maryland courts. As the years pass and children get older, their financial needs may change. Furthermore, life circumstances may arise that require a change in the child support amount.
When can you modify your child support?
Whether you receive or pay child support, you may petition to modify the amount of child support set by the court. The court will consider a child support modification when there is a significant change in the situation.
A child support amount can be modified when either party shows a significant change in income. Usually, a change in income by at least 25% is enough for modification. These situations may include the following:
- Parent experiences job loss
- Parents change visitation schedules and the non-custodial parent is spending more time with the child
- Parent becomes incarcerated
- Parent passes away
- The child moves from one parent’s house to the other
In some cases, the child’s needs may change, requiring more financial support. The child may become sick or have extenuating circumstances.
What should you do?
It is important to keep in mind that the court will make decisions based on the best interests of the child. You can petition the court to modify the existing order once every three years. You can fill out a petition to modify child support and file the document with the clerk of court. If both parents agree on the proposed modification, the judge may look at the documentation and approve the change. Depending on the circumstances of the situation, the court may schedule a hearing.