Many parents who make child support payments are uninformed when it comes to the criteria for obtaining adjustments. If your income varies or your circumstances change, though, you may be eligible to petition for a modification. There is no better time to revisit this issue than when you are reviewing your W2 and preparing to file your taxes. If you choose to apply for a modification, your W2 can be helpful in supporting your case. One of the following criteria may qualify you for an adjustment.
Any time your employment status changes, you may be eligible to modify your existing child support arrangements. If you are changing positions or otherwise transitioning, you may petition for a temporary adjustment. If the change will be permanent, however, you can petition for a permanent adjustment to the order. You can furnish your W2 as documentation for a court to review in such a situation.
Change in circumstances
If you have experienced some other change in your personal life or finances that will impact your ability to fulfill a child support order, it is essential that you communicate this as soon as possible and continue trying to make payments. If this is a permanent shift, you will likely petition for a modification on the basis of a change in circumstances. Typically, a court reviews such requests and makes a decision.
Switching jobs may lead to a reduction in your income, but there are plenty of other potential causes. Perhaps you have been demoted or had your hours cut while still in the same position. No matter what circumstances have led to a reduced income, it may make you eligible for a modification to your child support order. If your W2 documents a decrease in wages, be sure to include a copy with your petition for adjustment.
Rising cost of living
Some child support orders include a cost of living adjustment or COLA clause. If yours does, you may have your payments modified automatically in accordance with an independent economic indicator. If there is no COLA clause, however, you may still petition for adjustment based on fluctuations in your cost of living. When there is a sharp increase, you can seek relief in the form of a modification.
Whether you are reviewing your taxes and W2 or simply considering your options for a child support order, it is wise to know what your legal obligations are. Consulting with a lawyer can help you better understand this.