Divorced parents are encouraged to cooperate with each other in the interest of their child’s development and overall happiness. If you are working toward a positive co-parent relationship with your ex, or have already established one, you may worry that “stirring the pot” could mess everything up.
On the other hand, if you’re unable to make ends meet with the current child support amount, you may not have a choice but to seek a modification.
Modifications typically happen when a spouse believes they need more money from the other parent or the other parent doesn’t think they can afford to pay the current amount of support due. Both cases are likely to aggravate your ex. However, neither necessarily makes you a bad parent or co-parent.
Seeking more from your ex
It’s common for children to require more funds as they grow older. However, keep in mind that the courts determine a fair support payment that will allow the custodial parent to meet the child’s basic needs — food, water, shelter, clothes, bills etc. It can be difficult to make a case for an increase in child support to provide the child with luxury goods, such as gaming consoles or camping trips.
Yet, a modification for these goods may be warranted if the other parent is now able to provide for these things. For example, if your ex receives a raise, the court will likely see it fair that he or she offers more in child support.
Seeking a decrease in what you owe
In the latter case, if you are unable to afford child support payments, you’ll likely need a good reason why. One example might be if you lost your job or your new spouse moved out. Situations like these will understandably set back your funds.
On the other hand, if you’re having trouble affording support payments because your funds are going toward unnecessary leisure, the courts are not likely to make any changes to the amount you owe.
Get a second opinion
Arranging a change in support payments outside of court is likely to result in a future feud. But, going through the cost of court without getting a modification in the end can be frustrating too.
To learn more about whether your unique situation warrants a modification in child support, contact an experienced Family Law attorney to get a second opinion. A lawyer may even be able to help you explain your case to your ex so that you can seek the adjustment in court without damaging your co-parent relationship.