Last week, we discussed the factors that a Rhode Island court will take into account when issuing an order for child support. However, life is rarely predictable. Big changes in a parent's life, from the birth of a new child to a major illness to a job loss could all have a big effect on a person's income. In addition, health care expenses and child care expenses can sometimes shoot through the roof, leaving a parent with less disposable income. Parents in these situations may wonder whether their child support order can be modified.
It is important for a child support order to be equitable. However, to modify a child support order, a parent must go through the legal steps necessary to change it, as periodic reviews may not be performed. Furthermore, it is important for any changes to be cemented in a court order. Informal arrangements may not be enforceable, thus allowing a parent to later pursue the full amount that they are owed under the current court order.
Attorney Steven Hirsch has helped many clients pursue child support modifications. Sometimes, parents can enter into negotiations between themselves or utilize mediation services to come to a support agreement that can then be made official via a court order.
Each parent must go through life's ups and downs. Sometimes, the lows can have a significant impact on a parent's financial obligations. When this happens, it is important to understand how a significant change in one's finances can affect one's ability to pay or receive child support. More information on this subject can be found in the following Rhode Island child support webpage.