When a court issues a child support order, it is final. The parties must follow the original order until the court issues a new order to replace the original order. This is the case even if the parties have agreed to change the terms of the original child support order. While a court is likely to approve any agreement that the parties can reach about child support, the agreement is not legally valid until the court approves it and turns the agreement into a court order.
Under Georgia law, parents can ask the court to modify or change a child support order whenever there has been a change in circumstances, such as a change in the income of the financial circumstances of either parent or a change in the child’s needs. For instance, if one parent is laid off from his or her job and therefore experiences a major loss in income, he or she may be entitled to a child support modification. Changes in child support laws over time also can result in the need for a Georgia child support modification. Other reasons for a child support modification might include the following:
- A parent becoming disabled or otherwise unable to work
- A child turning 18
- A parent becoming incarcerated or finishing high school
- Increased costs for child care or health insurance
- A change in custody for one or more children
In general, the evidence supporting a child support modification has to be substantial and continuing. Therefore, a temporary change in circumstances, such as a parent being temporarily laid off from his or her job, is unlikely to result in a permanent modification to the support order, unless the parties agree to a permanent modification. The court could, however, order a temporary modification if the circumstances warrant it, or if the parties agree to it.
A Georgia child support lawyer can make all the difference in giving you the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about your divorce or paternity case and any related child support.
Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.
Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.