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How a change in finances may affect a child support order

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In uncertain economic times, paying monthly bills can be challenging. If your regular expenditures include court-ordered child support, though, you have little choice but to continue to make payments. After all, Georgia law allows for serious consequences for those who fall behind on child support.

Georgia law also provides a legal framework for modifying a child support order. If there has been a significant change in either parent’s income and financial status or the needs of the child, a court may agree to rework your current support obligation.

Changes in income and financial status

If you have experienced a sharp drop in your monthly income, reducing your child support obligation may seem like a straightforward prospect. Nevertheless, judges in the Peach State evaluate support modification requests on a case-by-case basis.

For a judge to agree to reduce your support order, you must prove your income and financial status change is significant. Unfortunately, there is no precise legal definition of what constitutes a significant change. Still, when evaluating the matter, a judge is likely to consider your overall financial status and not only your income.

Changes in the needs of your child

Because no two children are the same, the cost of raising kids may vary drastically based on their needs. For example, if a child has a developmental disability, his or her parents may have to fund special education or other services.

If the cost to support your child drops significantly, though, a court may decrease your support order. Nevertheless, before taking any action, judges have a legal obligation to carefully consider what is in the best interests of your child.

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