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Move Beyond 'Bad Guy' Mentality in Child Support Modification Arguments

Posted on in Family Law

Children Are Priority in Child Support Modification ArgumentsWhen you request to have your monthly child support payments reduced, your co-parent may portray your decision as being selfish. However, caring about the well-being of your children is separate from making sure you are paying an appropriate amount of child support. Courts allow you to modify your child support agreement because circumstances can change for both parents. You may believe that your co-parent is the one being selfish because he or she only cares about getting the maximum amount of money from you. However, your co-parent may be genuinely concerned about being able to provide for your children. During a child support modification dispute, parents should understand that they both likely have their children’s best interests in mind.

Two Sides

It is possible for both parents to have legitimate financial concerns when it comes to modifying child support payments:

  • A payer who makes payments at an unsustainable rate may lose the financial stability to continue to support the children; but
  • A recipient better understands the cost of childcare and may be unable to take on a greater financial burden.

Each person is balancing his or her responsibilities as a parent with a realistic financial outlook. When you are worried about yourself and your children, it feels satisfying to assume the other side is being selfish. However, that does not help you come up with a solution.

Making Adjustments

When co-parents cannot afford child support costs with their combined incomes, they must find a way to either increase their available incomes or cut expenses. As individuals, you may each need to make sacrifices for the sake of supporting your children. As parents, you can discuss responsible ways to reduce your child-related expenses:

  • Calculate whether putting the children on the other parent’s health insurance would save money;
  • Research safe but cheaper places that provide daycare services;
  • Evaluate how many of your child-related purchases are for things your children want but do not need; and
  • Explore public resources, such as a park district or library, for free or cheaper sources of entertainment.

If your children are teenagers, they may be mature enough to talk about ways they can help you save money. Try to minimize their involvement, but realize that you are unlikely to hide your budget problems from them.

Modifying Child Support

Whether or not your co-parent contests you, you must receive court approval in order to modify your child support payments. Unless three years have passed since the last modification, you will need to present a change of circumstances that makes immediate modification necessary. A McHenry County family law attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can lead you through the child support modification process. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.



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