Child support orders are critical to a child’s well-being, financially and emotionally. But securing an order is only part of the process. Over time, things change, and parents will often need to change a child support order.
Unfortunately, some parents make assumptions in these situations, which can have costly repercussions. To avoid these penalties, Nebraska parents can avoid the following mistakes.
Do not assume nothing can be done
Once a court order is in place, parents must comply with it or face penalties. However, parents should not assume they have no options to change an order.
In Nebraska, parents can request a modification of child support. This process entails having the courts review an existing order and examining current financial information. If they determine that the new circumstances warrant an adjustment in support payments, they can modify the order accordingly.
Do not make changes yourselves
Even when parents agree that an existing order is outdated or inappropriate due to a change in circumstances, the courts must approve a modification to change a court order. They must review proposed changes and be sure that any adjustments are fair and continue to reflect a child’s best interests.
When parents make changes themselves, the courts cannot enforce the new terms. Thus, delinquency or overpayment can occur and cause additional problems for parents.
Do not stop making payments
One thing parents might do in light of a job loss or other situation that compromises their ability to keep up with payments is to stop making payments. Some parents might also withhold money because of disputes with the parent receiving support.
However, stopping payments can trigger aggressive enforcement actions.
As such, it is crucial to continue making support payments in full and on time. If that becomes impossible, parents would be wise to speak with an attorney about modification as soon as possible. Contacting Child Support services can also help parents assess their payment options.
Child support modification can be an important tool for parents, as it can ensure that court orders align with current circumstances and continue to reflect the needs of a child.