Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”)
on Child Support Payments & Modifications
McGraw Law P.C. Offers Answers on Child Support Payments
Q: How Long Must Child Support Be Paid?
A: The duration of this responsibility depends upon state law. All states need both parents to be responsible for their child during the child’s minority. A few states have extended the time for financial responsibility beyond the minority of the child.
Q: Is Child Support Suspended During Summer Vacations with the Noncustodial Parent?
A: No, unless the parents agree to a different amount during vacation periods when the child or children are away for long periods of time.
Q: When Can a Child Support Order Become Changed or Modified?
A: An order for child support can become changed or modified any time there is a “material change in circumstances.” A material change in circumstances can take many forms. The change can be the result of changes in the parent’s financial situation or a change in the amount of time spent with the child. The material change in circumstance can be the result of a new situation for the child or other unexpected requirements. A child support payment could become modified by stipulation between the parents or by a noticed court hearing.
Q: My Income Dropped After Getting Laid Off of My Job and I Cannot Make My Child Support Payments. Is There Any Way I Can Lower the Payments?
A: Unexpected and significant decreases in income can be a reason to request modification of your child support order. Before incurring the extra expense of a court-mandated change, one route is to ask the other party to agree to a temporary reduction or deferral. If successful, put the terms in writing, sign, and date the document, with the advice of a lawyer. If that does not work, ask the court to change the amount of the child support owed in the future. Most courts are sympathetic and receptive to making necessary changes in child support, when you have experienced a financial setback.