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What to do and not do re child support modification in Kentucky

If you recently navigated the Kentucky divorce process, you can give yourself a pat on the back, as you likely faced and overcame several challenges along the way, especially if you have children. You hopefully had a strong support network in place to help you protect your parental rights and achieve a co-parenting agreement that keeps your kids' best interests in mind. If you pay child support, you'll want to make sure you clearly understand what the court does and does not allow regarding the process.  

There may come a time when something changes with your finances, making your current payment agreement no longer feasible. It's not uncommon as most people's lives include financial ups and downs; the problem is that you must adhere to a court order, even if you are currently in a downward slope of your financial status. If a problem arises, you can seek immediate support so you don't wind up in serious legal trouble.  

Keep these things in mind concerning child support    

There's no shame in seeking modification of your child support order if something happens that makes it impossible for you to meet payments as they stand. The following list includes actions you want to avoid as well as other steps you definitely want to take if you run into payment problems: 

  • The very worst thing you can do if you are facing financial problems as a payor of child support is to stop making payments. The court can hold you in contempt if you do this.
  • It's also not acceptable to create and implement a new plan, even if your former spouse agrees to it, without seeking the court's approval. 
  • In short, once the court issues a child support order, it stands, unless and until the court grants permission for a change. Otherwise, both parents are obligated to adhere to the existing order. 
  • You do want to bring your financial matter to the court's immediate attention to avoid problems. 
  • You do want to show proof of need, meaning evidence of a legitimate reason for requesting modification. 
  • You also want to make sure ahead of time that your reason is valid. Losing your job, incurring income reduction or expanding your family size through step-children in a new marriage are potentially valid reasons for requesting child support modification.  

Spending monies due for child support on a beach vacation or buying a new car may not sit well with a judge.  Also, disputes between you and your ex are not resolvable through child support retaliation.

Go through the proper channels        

If you have a medical emergency or some other dire need that has caused undue financial strain, it is perfectly acceptable to file a petition requesting modification of your child support order. As with most divorce-related issues, there is a specific process to follow. You can request a temporary or permanent adjustment of your payment amount. If you're unsure about a particular legal issue, it's always best to seek support rather than try to go it alone.

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Tasha Scott Schaffner, PLLC - Attorneys at law

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