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When it comes to child support payment modification, many parents cannot confidently tell you that they understand it all. Some usually don’t know how to go about the whole matter or where to begin. As a result, the majority of them end up doing nothing even though they are in dire financial stress.
Complete Guide to Modify Child Support without a Lawyer
Moreover, many parents may not even know or try to find out the factors that facilitate child support payment. Such factors as parent’s housing situation, earning capacity, current income, and the child’s basic financial needs. These factors can change at any time without giving notice. A parent may wake up one morning and find out that he or she no longer has a job or the expected promotion did not happen. If the child support payment is based on his or her high expectations, there is no other remedy than to modify the child support.
Types of Child Support Modification:
Child support modification can come in two different types namely;
- Temporary child support modification– This type of modification come in temporary situations. For instance, when a parent loses his or her job temporarily, the child has a medical emergency situation, or one of the parents is under a medical emergency. Another situation that can bring a temporary child support situation is when there is a change in the child custody. For example, when one parent stays in a hospital for a long period.
- Permanent child support modification– This particular type of modification order is approved when the financial situation of a parent changes permanently. Such situations like when one parent marries again and this action improves his or her level of income. It can give grounds for an upgrading in the child support that he or she pays. Another instance is if one of the parents became an invalid or suffers one disability or the other. Again, if there is a family standard in child support payments, one parent changing his or her job, or there is an increase in the child’s needs. All of these things can lead to a permanent child support modification.
Steps on How to Modify Child Support without a Lawyer
Although an attorney can provide you with better advice on child support modification, however, you can still do it on your own with the right information. You can go online on the Probate and Family Court (link valid for MA) website to download the necessary forms. Another alternative is to walk down to the Probate and Family court in your locality and get the needed forms.
Steps to Follow–
- You should go to that particular court that gave the initial order for child support.
- Take the complaint form for child support modification and fill it out. The forms are always available to all and sundry at the court. Go to the modification complaint box and fill out the changes that occurred in your financial situation. You should also fill in any change in the financial situation of the other parent since the last order for child support payment.
- After you finish filling out the complaint form, you can then take it to a court clerk and wait for the clerk’s summons. The Summons which the court clerk will send will include the court’s official verification that one parent has applied for a modification in the child support order.
- When the court Summons and Complaint paper reaches you, take it to a constable or sheriff who will, in turn, deliver it to your ex-spouse. After that, wait for some time for the returning of the original summons by the sheriff. When the constable or sheriff returns the summons paper, make sure that he or she has filled the “Proof of Service” section.
- Photocopy the original summons document which has been signed and returns the entire documents to the court clerk. This action is regarded as “return or Service.” Don’t forget to keep the original copies of the papers for your records.
- The next thing you have to do is to schedule the date for your court hearing.
- Secure a copy of the Financial Statements and fill out the form. Make copies and send one of them to your ex-spouse. Always use a pink paper for your financial statements.
- Also, send an unfilled Financial Statement paper to your ex-spouse. Attach a letter that will tell him or her to fill out the form and send a copy to you. Do not forget to fill the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.
- After the above process, what remains is to go to the court on the appointed date for the hearing. Remember to bring your copies of the entire documents.
After going through the above processes, you are sure of getting your child support modification order. Sometimes the judge may give the decision immediately, or you can wait for the decision to come in your mail.