You are doing the best you can to raise your children. You are working hard and budgeting every dime to make ends meet. Prices at the grocery store keep going up. Day-to-day expenses continue to rise. So, how and when do you try to modify child support to help with these increases?
Typically you want to meet with an attorney at least once every couple of years and run the numbers to see if things have changed enough to modify. This is easier said than done as most of the time your ex isn’t probably forthcoming with their income information, however, based on some general assumptions you can estimate to determine the new number. It may or may not have changed enough to proceed, but if you keep up on it you may find an increase is warranted before you get into extreme hardship.
Also, outside of the above-mentioned time-frame, talk with your attorney if you find that your ex got a new job, promotion, or significant raise. These are events where it makes sense to check things out.
The cost of living is always going up. If you’ve been under the same child support plan for five or ten years, it’s time to check and see if a modification is right for you.
Too often people worry about having to go back into court. Sometimes when the dust has settled from the divorce and things seem to finally be going smooth, people are very hesitant to “rock the boat” by taking an ex-spouse back into court regarding child support.
While “rocking the boat” isn’t a good reason to stay out of court, the idea of waiting a bit is perfectly ok. In fact, the State of Indiana has guidelines in place to prevent people from running into court to modify child support every month. Indiana State Law states that child support can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances. The statute goes on the list that the order you are trying to modify needs to be at least 12 months old.
Don’t wait until things are so bad that you aren’t being able to bay all the bills every month. Don’t ignore it until you are desperate.