Need a Modification?

Our Portland Family Attorney Helps Parents Adjust Child Support

Child Support Hearing Paperwork
Child support has the potential to last over 18 years, and many changes can happen in that period. Parents’ incomes change, they lose jobs and start new ones and unexpected expenses arise for the needs of the child. Child support laws allow modification if a party is able to demonstrate a substantial change in economic circumstances have occurred since the court entered the original order. The burden of showing a substantial change in circumstances is on the parent seeking the modification, and an experienced family law attorney will know how to best present the evidence to obtain a modification. Portland family lawyer Ronald Allen Johnston has been litigating modification of child support for over 40 years, and he both seeks and defends against modifications for both mothers and fathers.

What is a Substantial Change in Circumstances?

A party seeking to modify an existing child support order must demonstrate to the court that a substantial change in circumstances occurred. Common examples of such situations include:

  • Change of physical child custody, or a large change in parenting
  • The income of one or both parties has substantially changed. This will not
    include small raises, such as cost of living increases.
  • The needs of the child have changed.
  • Additional children were born or other children of the parties become emancipated.
  • Spousal support is terminated or modified, as this affects the child support guidelines.

If parents cannot agree that a substantial change has occurred, or they cannot agree on the new amount of child support, a hearing before the court is necessary.

Modifications of child support are not always easy to obtain, but an experienced Portland custody lawyer will know how to effectively present the evidence to demonstrate this change to the judge. Mothers and fathers should not engage in “self-help” and modify or stop child support payments until the court issues a new order. The court cannot reduce or withhold child support if a parent is not receiving visitation, and parents cannot refuse to allow visitation because the other is failing to pay support. Child support enforcement and modification before a judge is the proper way to address such problems.

Ronald Johnston represents both mothers and fathers seeking a modification of an existing child support award or to help extend child support for adult children attending school. If you are in need of a modification, do not hesitate to see an attorney to start the proceedings immediately. Contact Portland custody attorney Ronald Allen Johnston today for a consultation and an evaluation of your case to see how a modification proceeding can help you.

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