Change is an inevitable part of life, and change continues even after you walk through a major life change like divorce or legal separation. Sometimes, these changes are financial in nature, which means you may not be able to adhere to the terms of your original child support agreement. If you are currently in this situation, you have options available to you.
In some situations, Colorado law allows parents to seek a modification to an existing child support order. A modification could include either an increase or a decrease in the existing amount of support ordered, and you may seek one if there have been significant changes in your situation since the finalization of your current order.
Do my circumstances qualify me for a modification?
In order to get approval for a modification, you must demonstrate that there has been a significant shift in your financial circumstances that is not expected to improve in the near future, such as:
- Increase or decrease in day care expenses
- Diagnosis of new medical condition
- Medical expenses not covered by insurance
- Birth of other children from different relationship
- Job loss or new, lower-paying job
The purpose of child support is to protect the best interests of the children. If you are unable to care for your children on the current amount of support or you are no longer able to meet your obligations on a regular basis, a modification may be available. You will find it beneficial to follow the appropriate legal steps as a verbal agreement between parents will not be legally binding.
What you need to do to get a modification
A parent can seek a modification as often as necessary as long as the circumstances meet certain standards. Any requested change must represent at least a 10 percent increase or decrease in the current amount, but medical needs are always acceptable grounds for a support modification. If you decide this is the appropriate course of action for you, you will have to present proof of a significant change in your financial circumstances.
You may seek a modification without the help of an attorney, but you will find great benefit in walking through this process with the help of an experienced legal ally who can explain your options and help you address any potential complications. With the right help, you may be able to reach your legal objectives in a timely manner. As a parent, you have the right to ensure that your financial obligations align with your financial capabilities, and a modification can help you do that.