After Court Sets Child Support Can My Spouse Ask For More?

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Tom McCutcheon - Attorney at Law

Tom McCutcheon – Attorney at Law

Q: When my ex-wife and I got a divorce, we agreed on an amount of child support to be paid each month. Now she wants to take me back to court for more child support. She told me that an attorney told her there was a specific amount that I should be paying. Can the court change the amount of child support that we originally agreed to?

Moulton, AL

A: A party seeking a modification of child support must plead and prove that a material change in circumstance has occurred since the original decree was entered by the Court.

A trial court (judge) has the discretion and authority to modify a child support obligation when a material change in circumstances has occurred since the original decree.

There is a presumption that child support should be modified if the difference between what you are paying now and the amount that you would pay under the guidelines is more than 10%.

A judge can modify the amount of child support even when there is not a 10% change and a judge can refuse to modify the child support even when there is more than a 10% change.

The child support guidelines are virtually mandatory. If you’re ex-wife insists that you pay child support pursuant to the guidelines, her lawyer can present a material change in circumstances to the court to warrant a modification, and the guideline amount is substantially more than what you are currently paying, then it’s pretty certain the guidelines will be applied to your case.

Remember that in every modification of child support, the healthcare needs of the child shall be addressed either through health insurance coverage, cash medical support or other means. Normally, health insurance covering the children should be required if it is available to either parent through his or her employment or pursuant to any other group plan that would cover the child.

You can look at the child support guidelines online and get an approximate amount of what you would pay if the guidelines were applied to your case.

Buckle up and drive safely.

McCutcheon & Hamner, P.C.
2210 Helton Drive
Florence, Alabama 35630
Telephone: 256-764-0112
Facsimile: 256-764-1124

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