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Modifying a child support obligation

37314719_S (1).jpgWhen divorce divides a family in Jackson County, almost everything changes. Perhaps the one thing that does not is the love and affection the parents feel for their kids (and, by extension, the desire they have to care for them). It is for this exact reason why child support is such a pressing issue when it comes to divorce. Per the U.S. Census Bureau, over $33.7 billion was owed in child support as recently as 2015. In a perfect world, those who owe such a support would never have issues paying it. However, the fact that unpaid child support is an issue family courts are perpetually dealing shows that does not always happen. 

Those obliged to pay child support may see their financial circumstances change. Such changes may include: 

  • The loss of a job (or a reduction in work hours)
  • The need to support a new family 
  • Changes in children's needs

Rather than allowing such changes to stop them from paying their child support, parents in such situations should instead seek to modify their agreements. 

The website for the Missouri Judiciary offers guidance on how to effectively work through a child support modification. It states that a petition must be filed with the court to modify an order. However, such a motion can be either contested or un-contested. The parent seeking the modification should reach out to the other explaining the changes in his or her situation in an attempt to come to an amicable agreement. If such an agreement can be made, then a child support agreement may be amended without the need for a hearing. If not, then a hearing is scheduled to allow to court to rule on the matter. In either event, a court filing fee must be paid (one can, however, seek to have the fee waived). 

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