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Child support modification based on a change in income

A Georgia non-custodial parent who has a job change that results in a lower income may need to change the amount of child support paid. This is called a child support modification. A parent can go through the court system to apply for a child support modification, and the court will decide whether the income change merits a reduction of the payment amount.

Parents may also make an agreement between themselves about lowering the child support. However, if a legal child support agreement is in place, it is still necessary to have the change approved by a judge. A judge will usually approve it as long as it does not violate state guidelines. A parent should not delay in taking the legal steps to get the agreement modified because the changes are not retroactive. The parent will continue to owe the same amount until the court grants the modification.

There are several other reasons to request a modification in support. If there is a change in the child's needs, a parent is incarcerated, a parent becomes disabled, there is a change in the cost of living, or a parent remarries and there is a significant income increase, a parent may request a modification.

If a parent fails to pay support and does not file for a modification, there are steps the other parent can take to collect the support as long as the two have a legally binding agreement. The parent can go through the local child support enforcement agency, and the parent who has fallen behind may have a number of penalties imposed. However, the custodial parent should keep in mind that withholding visitation is not permitted.

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Hecht Family Law
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