Even when a divorce has been final a while, and both ex-spouses have been successfully co-parenting their children, life changes can occur that require a modification of the original custody, visitation, and child support decisions. Whether you are a parent paying child support who lost a job or a recipient parent who knows your ex is making substantially more money than at the time of the divorce, a trusted child support attorney could help you determine the best steps to take to protect your family’s best interests. Reach out to our firm today to speak with a Lincoln County child support modification lawyer.
Child Support Modification in Kansas
Modifying a child support order requires the judge to review extensive paperwork concerning the changed circumstances that may or may not warrant the modification. The process begins when the parent seeking modification notifies the other parent about a change in circumstances. The respondent parent has 30 days to provide accurate financial information.
While the paperwork reveals changes that could be considered material, certain changes may not be enough to determine whether a change in child support payments is warranted, giving the judge greater leeway. For example, a parent who takes a second job after the divorce to meet other financial obligations may not have to pay additional child support, but if the family relied on the income from the second job during the marriage, it may be factored into the original child support order. Some changes of circumstances that warrant judicial review include:
- Incarceration of the parent paying child support
- Changes in the child’s medical or educational needs
- A 10 percent change in financial circumstances of either parent with a shared or divided residency plan
The courts do not look at child support modification as a supplement for the custodial parent but as strictly for the child’s benefit. Both parents are expected to contribute to that goal, called ‘income share’ by the Kansas courts. A Lincoln County child support modification attorney ensures the process is fair to the family.
Modifying Child Support After a Job Loss
Many times, a parent paying child support will request a modification if they lose a job. However, the court will examine several factors to determine whether support should be reduced. Judges are not swayed by a parent who quits, is fired from a job for misbehavior, claims they cannot find a job, or purposely remains unemployed. The judge can impute income to the paying spouse based on age, education, skills, the availability of work, and the average wages for that work.
Failure to Disclose Material Information
Kansas revised its child support guidelines in 2016 and 2020, with comments for the next change closed at the end of October 2023. One change involves sanctions for parents who do not comply with providing information or misstate financial details for a review to determine child support modification. In the case of concealment or understatement, the court will determine the amount concealed or misstated and add it to future child support payments. The court may also attach other sanctions, including making the non-compliant parent responsible for court costs and attorneys’ fees. Our Lincoln County attorneys could help clients understand court rules and the judge’s decisions regarding support modifications.
Let a Lincoln County Child Support Modification Attorney Help You Seek Fairness
Children have a right to receive financial support from both parents. When circumstances change after a child support order is in place, the amount of income shared to benefit the children should also change.
The modification process involves detailed financial disclosures affecting most sources of income, but not all. Other factors, such as the paying parent’s health, age, and job skills, also matter. Because providing for your children is a top priority, see a Lincoln County child support modification lawyer for trusted guidance.