If you’ve been paying child support for a few months now or even a few years and your circumstances have recently changed, you may be wondering whether you should request to have your child support order modified. While you do have the right to request a review to have your current order adjusted, you must have a valid reason for wanting to do so. Because the money you provide in support is expected to help with certain expenses associated with caring for your child, the Maryland Department of Human Resources says that the courts will generally award a modification for the following reasons:
- Your income has dramatically changed since your order took effect. Some common reasons why this would happen include:
- You lost your job or have had your income decrease.
- You have a new child in your household to support.
- Changes in work-related daycare costs.
If your child was placed in a day-care setting so that you and their other parent could work, yet the number of hours they spend being supervised has decreased, then you may be able to get your child support payments lowered. In fact, if your child is no longer being cared for by daycare staff or any other provider in which you have to pay, then the courts may very well grant you your request.
- Changes in health care costs.
If your child’s health care costs went down, you may be able to get a reduction in the amount you’ve been providing for support for it.
- A change in custody.
If you have been granted more custody or the child or children are spending more overnights with your than when the last support order was established, you may want to look into getting your child support order modified as you are probably spending more money on them during the time they are spending with you.
- There has been a change in the financial needs of your child.
If you were ordered to pay for certain expenses when your child support order first started but they no longer apply, you may be able to get your order modified. For example, if your child was receiving certain medical treatments when the order was first initiated and they are no longer receiving these services, this may qualify you to get your child support order lowered. However, if your child’s financial needs now cost more, your ex also has the right to put in a request to get the current child support order modified as well. And in their case, they will likely ask that you provide them with more money each month.
- It has been three years since the order was entered or last reviewed for modification.
The Maryland Department of Human Resources says that if three years have passed since your order was reviewed, you may want to look into putting in a request to have it modified as your circumstances or those of your child have likely changed. However, this should be evaluated before taking steps that might increase your court ordered obligation.
In the event your circumstances differ from those mentioned above but you still feel as though yours qualify you to get your child support order modified, it is best you consult with a Rockville, MD child support attorney. The lawyers at Barkley & Kennedy can review your current order along with your change in circumstances to determine whether the courts will grant you your request.
If you would like to schedule a time where you can meet with one of our knowledgeable child support lawyers to learn more about modifying a current child support agreement that was filed in Rockville, MD, or another city contact our office today at 301-251-6600.
You can reach Barkley & Kennedy at:
51 Monroe Street, #1407
Rockville, MD 20850