Child support is essential for raising a child after a divorce. However,
it is also one of the most sensitive and disputed aspects of having a
child. Often, child support itself is not just the center of an argument,
but the amount that will be paid is. Nonetheless, having a clear understanding
of child support and its possible modification can ease a lot of tension
between parents. Divorced Georgia parents should take this into careful
consideration as prolonged disputes may result in compromising the financial
needs of their child.
First, determine what the changes in circumstance are. A change in child
support, in a legal sense, needs to be supported by a change in circumstance.
This refers to permanent and substantial change. So if a paying parent
was temporarily laid off from work, it may not constitute a valid reason
for modification unless a parent can no longer work or is permanently
laid off from work. On the other hand, if a receiving parent is requesting
an increase in the monthly payments, that parent should have substantial
proof that there has been a considerable increase in the paying parent's
income. Severe illness or disability, whether suffered by a parent or
child, is considered a valid change in circumstance.
Second, when the reasons for an increase or decrease have been validated,
the parent should then file the necessary paper work. A parent will also
be required to pass a case information statement to substantiate the modification
request. This statement refers to financial documents. Other proof, like
witnesses statements, may also come in handy.
Finally, Georgia parents may wish to consult with a family law professional
about a child support modification. A professional can help with the legal
nuances of the modification as well as filter any frivolous claims. Regardless
of which parent is filing for modification, however, it is always best
to think about the best interest of the child.