Q) I have court ordered 50/50 custody of my 3 children and I am forced to pay child support and maintain health insurance. I don’t have a problem with maintaining health insurance but child support with 50/50 custody of my children is completely absurd. I can barely afford food anymore and I’m fixing to lose my home. I’m very behind on all bills now and even had my electric shut off 3 times in the last year. How can this be changed?
A) If you believe that your child support order is unfair or incorrect, you may be able to request a modification of the order through your state’s child support enforcement agency or family court. The process for modifying a child support order varies by state, but typically involves filling out a modification request form, providing evidence of a significant change in circumstances (such as a change in income or custody arrangement), and attending a court hearing.
In your case, since you have court-ordered 50/50 custody of your children, you may be able to argue that the child support amount should be adjusted to reflect your shared parenting arrangement. However, it’s important to note that child support is determined based on a variety of factors, including each parent’s income and expenses, the children’s needs, and the custody arrangement, so it’s possible that the court may still require you to pay some amount of child support even with 50/50 custody.
It’s also important to address your financial struggles and find ways to improve your financial situation. You may want to consider speaking with a financial counselor or seeking assistance from a local non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to families in need. Additionally, you may want to explore options for increasing your income, such as finding additional work or exploring education or training programs that could lead to higher-paying job opportunities.
Process of changing Child Support Order:
To ask the Probate and Family Court to modify a child support order:
Go into the court that made the child support order.
Fill out a Complaint for Modification form.
Take the form to the court Clerk.
Serve the Complaint and Summons.
Make “return of service”.
Schedule a court date for the hearing.
Keep in mind that once a child support order or agreement is in place, the payment amount may be increased or decreased under certain circumstances. If a parent’s earning ability or a child’s financial needs have changed – that could conceivably be enough to trigger a modification.