Do child support laws allow modifications to be made retroactive?
About 6 months ago, I sustained a 20% salary reduction, but I did not file a petition to modify child support until recently.
If the judge grants the decrease in child support, would it be made retroactive to the time my salary decreased or to when the child support modification was actually filed?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce on these matters. However, I can give you general child support information based on Indiana’s child support laws where I am licensed to practice.
In order for child support to be modified, there must be a 20% increase or decrease in your or your ex-wife’s income, according to the child support laws where I practice.
As you stated, you experienced a 20% salary decrease six months ago, but you did not file a petition to modify child support until recently. If your recommended amount of child support is reduced due to his reduced salary, then courts will typically make the new reduced amount retroactive to the date of filing you petition to modify, or the judge could make the new reduced amount effective as of the date of the hearing.
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Was there a reason why you waited to file your child support modification? The judge may ask you why you waited so long before filing the modification.
In the future, I would suggest that you file a child support modification as soon as it occurs, as overpayments of child support can be treated as gifts to your ex-wife.
Please understand that my opinions are based upon the limited facts that you provided to me. For financial advice on divorce, I urge you to contact a divorce lawyer.