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Have you changed jobs? Your child support amount can change, too

If you share custody of your children and have changed to a new job, the child support amount you have to pay will not immediately change to reflect the new job's salary.  However, you can request that the court change your child support order.

Petitioning the court in West Virginia to modify how much you pay in child support may be warranted especially if you cannot afford your current payments because your pay has decreased. In the same way, the other parent may choose to seek to have your child support amount modified if he or she learns that you are earning a substantially higher income in your new job position.

Reasons for modifying a child support order

The court considers various factors prior to approving a request to modify a child support amount. In the case of your new job, the court will determine whether your new job is truly a substantial change in your circumstances, which is required for a modification to take place.

A court may decide to modify your child support order for several reasons besides a change in your income due to a new job, including:

  • Changes in the state's child support laws
  • Major changes in your child's needs
  • Increased living costs
  • Incarceration
  • An injury or disability that decreases your employment prospects or constrains resources

The change to your child support order may be either permanent or temporary, depending on the circumstances surrounding your modification request. For instance, the court might temporarily change your child support order to accommodate your current monetary hardship or your child's health-related emergency. No matter the reason for the change, the court will prioritize the child's needs above all other considerations.

Process for modifying a child support order

The easiest way in which to change your child support amount is to come to an agreement with the other parent on how to modify it, rather than battling over the amount in court and having a judge decide the final outcome. Of course, your agreed-upon child support amount must fall within the state's guidelines to receive the approval of a judge.

Modifying your support amount in this scenario involves filing a motion with the family law court that ordered you to pay child support and submitting the agreement that you and the other parent have reached. Once the judge signs it, the terms of your new agreement will take effect.

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Joseph Brophy Cordell, Attorney at Law
115 1/2 West King Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401

Phone: 304-707-0673
Fax: 304-263-3378
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