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radcliff's avatar

How do I change the child support order I get with the court?

Asked by radcliff (253points) February 5th, 2011

I have my son 6 of 7 days a week. The divorce decree states 50/50 parenting time and joint custody. This has been going on for the 3 years we have been divorced. I get about $40.00 for child support because of the 50/50. I also get Spousal Maintenance.
I completely pay for all clothes, food and misc. for my child. I am low income due to an accident.
How do I change this order for a minimum of cost?

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7 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Contact an attorney and go back to court.

radcliff's avatar

@marinelife I spent almost 20,000 for a divorce decree that is completely not enforced and now I am poor! Yes, I am partly to blame!!!

YARNLADY's avatar

Keep a written record of all the expenses, and then ask the clerk of the court for a Do It Yourself Change Form.

bkcunningham's avatar

@radcliff contact your local department of social services. They will provide you will the proper counseling and an attorney if they think you are able to get more income from the other parent.

geeky_mama's avatar

@radcliff – not sure where you’re from, but here in MN you will get an automatic COLA (cost of living adjustment) every two years.

In between you can AT ANY POINT request to have a review of the enforcement of your decree at no cost to you and without having to go to court. Just pick up the phone and talk to your case worker.

I know this from the other side of the equation – I’m married to a man with an ex. We have his daughter 99% of the time and we have paid all health insurance/medical/dental/clothing/schooling expenses—and we were still paying (a lot) to his ex each month.

Once my husband became unemployed all it took was one phone call to the case worker. (And then a lot of paper work) His ex had to submit W2s and recent pay stubs, my hubby did too. I had to provide proof of insurance for my stepdaughter and the records showing we’d always covered this expense..even though per the decree his ex-wife was supposed to have paid this expense.)
They found a BIG discrepancy (she was being paid a lot more than in their original decree from 10+ years ago—and good for her that she was!) and reduced his payment by a lot.

Works the same in reverse in our state, too—according to some other stepmom’s I know…they can adjust his payment “upwards” if they find he’s earning more and you’re earning less. There are simple online calculators for many states as well.. (though my example is again, specific to my home state).

wifeymomosays's avatar

You can go through just the child support system without court, it will be filed papers just like court system, you file how long you have your child a day, it will also go by year if you file back that far. When you go in or call customer service c\sppt will help you. Your child support should change because of your time with your child, do you do taxes, or do u share and claim him both everyother year?

blueiiznh's avatar

It varies state to state, but you file a request for modification. You can do it pro se (self) if you have the time and energy to research it. Get a lawyer to help if you can.
Go on the web site for the state. They have the forms and filing instructions. You will have to document your needs and why you are requesting the modification. There is usually a formula to calculate the support order. This is based on income, but there are many other factors and percentage room for certain circumstances.
$40.00 seems hardly much money, but I don’t know the circumstances. Is the custody currently joint physical and joint legal? What state?
How is their week broken out as far as where they live?
It can be an undaunting and anxiety riden task, but do what is best for the children which may mean this modification.
You have a right to have it reviewed periodically as well as jobs and formulas do change.
Never let the other party not be responsible for their end of the order either. Keep records if visitations or payments are not made. These facts go a long way to helping the childrens life be as normal as possible.
The courts want the children to have and live the lifesytle that they had prior to the divorce, so keep that in mind.

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