What You Need to Know About Modifying Child Support

As you grow older, you tend to change. You value different things, have different opinions and you may have many different tastes. As time moves on, your children will change too. They will get older, and they may trade in their crayons for soccer balls and video games.

The thing that remains constant is how much you love your children and how committed you are to what is best for them. However, wanting what is best for them does not mean you have to pay more than your fair share of child support. Changes in you or your former spouse’s circumstances could necessitate a change in your child support agreement.

There are a few reasons that a child support order may need to be modified. These include:

  • An increase or a decrease in the payer’s income
  • An increase or decrease in the other parent’s income
  • A change in the child’s needs, like the need for increased medical care

The change in income must also be substantial. What a substantial change in income is be based on your unique situation. Another person’s substantial change in income may be an insignificant amount of money to you and vice versa.

Assuming you meet one of these requirements, you can move forward with the child support modification process. There are several ways to modify a child support agreement and again, it will depend on your situation.

Both parents agree and file paperwork together

If you and your former partner agree on the new amount for child support, you can file a modification order online or take it to the child support office.

A child support agency reviews your case

However, an agreement is certainly not guaranteed. You may want to ask the child support agency to review your case. After reviewing your request for modification, if the court agrees that you qualify, they will create a legal agreement called a stipulation. Both parents are then asked to sign the stipulation.

The court may get involved

According to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, if your ex refuses to sign the modification, the agency might ask the court to modify the order. It will be up to the court to decide whether to approve the modification.

You may be worried that your former partner will not agree to sign the stipulation. If that is a valid concern, you may consider contacting an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can help you build a strong case supporting your request for modification.

Requesting a child support modification does not make you a bad parent, even if you are requesting to pay less. A modification just allows you to pay what is fair.