According to the Executive Office of Labor, about 1 in 16 Springfield residents are going through financial difficulties. If you are responsible for paying child support, then these financial challenges may necessitate making modifications to your court-ordered payments. Requesting a change in child support orders is an important option when going through tough financial circumstances.
Requesting a Change to Your Child Support Court Order
The modification process begins, like many family law proceedings, with gathering paperwork. You will need to send evidence to the Department of Revenue (DOR) that explains why the amount of your order should be modified.
This paperwork should contain copies of:
- Military orders
- Paystubs, bank statements, or income tax returns
- Letters verifying you get public/government benefits
- Proof that you receive unemployment benefits
- Workers’ compensation award letters
- Documents verifying that you have a disability or an injury
After submitting paperwork that demonstrates your need to make changes to the child support order, DOR will decided if it would be appropriate to ask the court for a change and will send you a letter with the details.
What If Only One Party Agrees to the Changes?
If one party contests the changes in a child support order, there are different options you can take to help file modifications to the order. You must file the Complaint for Modification (CJD 104) form stating the circumstances that have changed since the original agreement was enacted.
After filing the complaint, the court staff will provide you with a summons form that you must deliver to the other party. If you don’t want to deliver these files in person, you can get a process server to deliver them for you. The defendant (the other parent) will have 20 days to “answer” the Complaint for Modification form to the court. After that, you should file a request for assignment of a court date if the staff has not already.
If the defendant doesn’t file an answer, then you should ask court staff about scheduling it for an uncontested trial. You can also schedule a pre-trial conference to explain the issues involved in the modification.
Requesting modifications to your child support agreement can be a complex process, especially if the other party contests the changes. For guidance on your child support process, contact our Springfield child support attorneys today!