If your divorce involved child support, the court may have based payments on a variety of factors. In North Carolina, the amount of child support payments may depend on both your and your ex-spouse’s ability to provide financial support as well as the needs of your children.
However, as your lives change and your children grow, there are many reasons that you may want to revisit your current support plan. In North Carolina, the court may agree to modify payment amounts if your situation has changed significantly.
1. When might the court agree to changes?
Whether you have experienced a pay cut or job loss, your spouse has gained a substantial increase in income or your children have new health care, educational or other needs, the court may agree to modify payment amounts if there have been substantial changes since a judge approved your current order.
2. Which parent can request modification?
In North Carolina either you or your former spouse may ask that the court review your current support order. Depending on how your circumstances have changed since the last order, the judge may increase payments, decrease them or leave the amount the same.
3. Can you make changes without court approval?
If you and your ex-spouse are on relatively good terms, you may be able to work out a new agreement through mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution. However, without a judge’s official approval, any changes to your payment plan may not be legal or enforceable.
Whether you are receiving or making support payments, it is important to get the modification process started soon after you experience a major, permanent life change that makes current amounts unworkable. Until the court approves modification, the paying parent will still have to fulfill his or her support obligations.