Maintenance and Child Support Modifications Increasing

It’s not too surprising to find out that with the economy the way it is these days, there has been a sharp increase in requests for changes to support and alimony agreements.

The recession has hit Americans right where they live, and times are incredibly tough for many struggling to keep food on the table. Throw a divorce and maintenance and child support into this mix, and you have a recipe for disaster. Divorced spouses who have lost their jobs, or even taken a cut in pay to keep a job, are wondering how on earth they are going to keep up their maintenance/child support payments.

The one way to accomplish this is to request the courts make modifications in previous child support/maintenance agreements. Evidently, according to a fairly recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, roughly 39 percent of America’s top ranked divorce attorneys are reporting a significant hike in the number of modifications being made to child support payments. On the other hand, close to 42 percent across America and in Las Vegas family law offices have seen an increase in changes made to alimony payments.

Times are tough all around and the signs of the times are often seen in Las Vegas family law offices as they assist clients in dealing with the fall out of a change in financial circumstances. In most instances, that directly affects their client’s ability to fulfill their contractual obligations as first negotiated. There certainly aren’t many other alternatives for a person paying child support/alimony to adjust their payments if they’ve lost their job or become too ill to work.

Keep in mind how the child support was figured out in the first place – usually by the courts after they look at several factors on both sides of the fence. Those factors included what each parent made yearly and could encompass things like social security, pensions, benefits, workers’ compensation, lottery winnings, tips, investment income and UI.

Digging a little deeper, the court would also ascertain if there was child support being paid or received to maintain children from another relationship, what was being paid out in terms of extra education expenses and childcare expenditures. Health insurance costs are factored in as well. Generally speaking, this is the process to figure out child support and your Las Vegas family law office will help you in calculating these expenses.

In order to get any changes made to the child support payments, you have to go back to court and specifically ask for a modification. The way that works is if both parents agree, (if they don’t – ask your Las Vegas family law office lawyer what to do next) they hand in something called a “stipulation” to the court.

The court’s role is to approve the stipulation and issue an order modifying the original child support order. Be aware that the “only” modification that will be enforced is the modification the court issues. Nevada will not enforce child support payment agreements cobbled together by the parents. By the way, it is also possible to get a temporary modification for a minor change in circumstances. Speak to your Las Vegas family law office lawyer and find out how this process works.

Bradley J. Hofland is with Las Vegas Divorce law firm, Hofland, Beasley & Galliher. The law firm focuses on Las Vegas family law, custody, and Las Vegas personal injury. To learn more about
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