When Virginia couples get divorced, they go through the process of resolving the financial and familial issues between them. In order to calculate sums such as child support, the parties and the court look at a snapshot of the parties’ current lives. There is no way to predict the future, so this is the only way to do it. The problem is that life rarely remains the same year after year, so a child support modification may be needed at some point.
Of course, the law only allows for modifications to child support orders under certain circumstances. One of the most common reasons is a decrease in income of the party making payments. However, the decrease needs to be substantial in order to justify a modification. On the other hand, if the party receiving child support payments for the children discovers the other parent received a substantial inheritance or increase in income, he or she may request an upward modification in the payments.
As the years pass, one or more of the children may require more of a financial investment from both parents. Their needs grow as they do, which usually requires an increase in the money available to accommodate those increased needs. The primary custodial parent may request an increase in child support to cover them. On the other hand, the parent paying child support could remarry and have more children, which would increase his or her familial responsibilities. It may be possible for the paying parent to request a downward modification in support to accommodate that circumstance.
Even if a Virginia parent believes his or her circumstances fit one or more of these reasons, it does not guarantee that the court will approve a child support modification. People requesting to higher or lower child support payments will require providing the right evidence to the court. A family law attorney can assist in the preparation for and attendance of the hearing on the request, which could help increase the chances of a successful outcome.