When To File For A Child Support Modification

oklahoma city divorce lawyerQuestion:

I was recently ordered to pay child support and am already considering filing a child support modification because the payments ordered did not take into account my ex’s earning capacity.

The court ended up imputing minimum wage to my ex-wife, though I am still expected to pay child support. She has been unemployed for two years and is barely looking even though she used to make $15 an hour at a job she could probably get back.

Should I take a child support modification back to court in 6 months in hopes they will impute more income based on her earning capacity rather than just the minimum wage she could easily earn?

Answer:

This answer only includes general divorce help for men since I am only licensed to practice in Oklahoma and am thus unable to provide any legal advice on divorce on the child support laws in other states.

Whether you should take your ex-wife to court to revise the child support order in 6 months is completely up to you.

Of course, you can go to court and request that the court revise her income from minimum wage to impute income at a level which she is capable of making if she applied herself in order to find a job. Of course there is no guarantee that the court will revise her income.

Therefore, I believe you must weigh the risk (cost of pursuing a change in the child support) and the potential reward (reducing the child support).

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Reasons For Modifications

In this case, while I do not know your income, let’s for example say the court has imposed an income of $7.50 per hour or $1,300 per month.  You indicate that her actual income could be $15 per hour, or about $3,000 per month. The difference in the child support payment may be very small when it is all said and done depending on your income.

Weighed against the potential small reduction of child support are the following factors:

1) cost of changing the child support in actual dollars, time, and energy;

2) potential that the court will not grant your request; and

3) the added cost of work related daycare expenses (of which you may be responsible for your percentage share of the costs).

These costs may make a challenge to the current child support computation a bad investment of resources. In fact, it could be that the added potential cost of daycare, or work related child care, could by itself increase your child support obligations even assuming your request is granted.

Additionally, you will want to consider your income 6 months from now. If your income increases over that period of time, any modification would also take into consideration your new income.

You could be stuck in a situation where the court grants your request, but you end up paying more because your income went up as well.

Please understand that my opinions are based upon the limited facts that you provided to me. For a more in depth discussion of fathers rights and legal advice on divorce, I urge you to contact a family law attorney

To set up an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell mens divorce attorney, including Brock Ellis, an Associate Attorney in the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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