Legal options like Georgia’s family law child support modification process exist to help parents who are unable to pay the full amount of their court-ordered child support payments. If you want to lower your monthly obligation, you must prove to the Georgia family law courts that there has been a substantial change. If you can successfully prove this in court, then there is a good chance that Georgia’s family courts will approve your petition for a modification. The Georgia family law courts want to do what is best for the children of divorced parents. However, they do understand when things happen in life.
- Do you know what Georgia’s child support modification processes are?
- Do you know how the modification process works and what you can do if you cannot afford your child support payments in Georgia?
The Georgia Child Support Modification Process
When you divorce, the courts will determine how much child support each parent owes. This support is for the good of the children and is used to help provide their daily care. Unless the courts change this order, parents must continue to pay child support.
What happens if you cannot afford to pay your child support in Georgia? The courts will want first to know why! Is it because you spend too much money on vacations and expensive luxury items or because you lost your job? These are both vastly different reasons for being unable to afford child support payments – and the courts will respond accordingly.
In Georgia, any parent who needs to modify their current legal child support order must first prove one of the following reasons for needing a modification:
- A change in the financial situation of either parent, which is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. This could include the loss of a job, an increase in salary, physical disability of a parent, or a cost of living increase.
- A change in the child’s needs. This might include a disability, an illness, or a child moving in with the paying parent.
If you cannot afford Georgia child support right now, contact an experienced Atlanta child support modification lawyer. You cannot modify Georgia child support without filing a petition with the court and providing proof that you meet one of the above criteria. Only Georgia family law judges can determine if you deserve a reduction in your payments.
Did You Wait Two Years?
It is important to know that you typically must wait 2 years from the previous agreement to ask for a modification in Georgia. However, there are exceptions to this. In Georgia, if you lose a job involuntarily or suffer a hardship that results in a 25 percent reduction in income, you can file for an immediate modification.
If you need to modify the agreement before two years, it is important to review your case with an experienced divorce attorney. In many cases, your child support obligation will stop accruing once you serve the other parent with the request for a support modification.
What Factors Will the Courts Consider?
When looking at your case, the Georgia courts will consider several factors, including:
- Is the request based on an involuntary loss of income?
- Has the noncustodial parent failed to exercise court-ordered visitation?
- Has the noncustodial parent met or exceeded visitation?
- Has there been a substantial increase in income for the custodial parent?
- What are the needs of the children?
- Has it been two years?
There are numerous other factors the courts will consider during a modification review. Your attorney can go through this with you before filing for a modification. With an Atlanta divorce attorney on your side, you have a greater chance of success when filing a child support modification.
Call Our Experienced Atlanta Family Law Attorneys
At Hobson & Hobson, P.C., our Atlanta child support attorneys know that the decisions made during the initial divorce don’t always last forever. There are times when hardships and changing circumstances make it difficult to meet our child support obligations. When this occurs, we can help. We believe in helping parents seek modifications of existing child support when applicable.