If I Get A Raise Will My Child Support Increase?
The calculation of child support can be a rather involved and contentious process. If you and your co-parent are unable to mutually come to a decision, it will be left to the court to calculate the amount of child support that will need to be paid monthly by the noncustodial parent. Only the noncustodial parent must pay child support, since the other parent has primary physical custody and is meeting the child’s needs. When the judge calculates the amount of monthly child support to be paid, they will consider the income of the noncustodial parent, as well as the needs of the child. Once the amount is determined, it will be incorporated into the child support agreement and ordered into effect by the court. It then becomes a crime not to make these payments. While this is good reason to feel that the agreement is etched in stone, it actually can be modified. One reason to modify a child support agreement is if the noncustodial parents’ income changes. Because the noncustodial parent’s income is one of the primary factors in determining the amount of child support initially, a significant change in that income can also change the amount of the child support payments.
Modifying Child Support Payments
If the income of the noncustodial parent has increased such that it would affect the child support payments by at least 10%, it is considered a material enough change to petition the court to modify the existing child support payment amount. For this reason, if you have received a bonus or a raise, it may not meet the threshold of affecting the calculation of the existing child support payments by 10% or more. However, if it does, then it is possible that you may have to begin paying more. This will not happen automatically. The other parent will have to become aware of the increase in income and petition the court for a modification. The court will then make a decision as to whether there are grounds for modifying the existing amount. If the noncustodial parent’s income has increased but the child’s financial needs have remained consistent and are covered by the existing child support payment, the court may elect not to alter the existing amount. In other cases, the court may simply recalculate based on your current salary. Of course, you do still always have the option of avoiding court by negotiating a new child support payment amount directly with your co-parent. If you do this, be sure to have an attorney draft your new agreement in writing and submit it to the court for approval rather than simply making a one-off payment or paying them more sometimes, which you may not get any credit for in court.
Contact Peeples Law in Birmingham, Alabama
If you are going through the child custody hearing process or need to modify an existing child custody or child support or visitation agreement due to a material change in circumstances, our experienced Birmingham family law attorneys are ready to help. Contact Peeples Law today to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help you and your family.