When the judge presiding over your child custody case in Georgia makes his or her final determination regarding child support, he or she does so with the utmost thought and care. For this reason, it is unlikely the courts will modify a child support agreement simply because you ask. To convince a judge to revisit your case, you or your child’s other parent must show that one of you has experienced a “substantial change in circumstances.”
According to the Georgia Office of Child Support Enforcement, if you or the other parent wishes to file for modification on an order that is less than 36-months-old, or since the court completed the last modification, you must establish a “substantial change in circumstance.” Though everyone’s case is different, examples of substantial changes in circumstances include an involuntary loss of income that resulted in your household making 25% less than before; the diagnosis of a serious illness or an injury that impacted your ability to earn an income and that your doctor anticipates to last for more than one year; you or the other party began to receive TANF benefits since the last order; and unanticipated windfall of money.
Though the state of Georgia does accept an involuntary loss of income as a reason for modifying a custody order, it does not recognize incarceration as such. Either party has the right to request a modification, without showing a substantial change in circumstances, if the order is older than 36 months. Upon receipt of yours and your child’s other parent’s documents, the judge will run the child support worksheets to determine if a modification is, indeed, necessary.
You should not use the contents of this article as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.