No one knows for certain what will happen in the next moment, and definitely not in the months and years to come. Yet in the course of a divorce, a couple and the court need to try to predict what will happen and make appropriate decisions. This delicate situation is perhaps the most obvious in child support cases.
Parents need to try to decide how much financial support should be paid from one to the other each month to make it possible to raise their child comfortably. They can only feasibly use currently available information, though, which means a child support amount decided in divorce might not be enough later on. The court actually anticipates future changes and will permit modifications – for certain reasons.
Are School Sports Costs Enough for a Modification?
In many situations, a parent who receives child support will want to receive more each month to help pay for unforeseen but practical child-related expenses. A common question brought to mind of a divorced parent is the cost of school sports participation. Depending on how involved a child gets, there might be expenses ranging from uniforms to trips to other counties. It can all add up in surprising way for a parent who lives primarily with the child.
However, modifications to child support orders will only be approved due to a “substantial change in circumstances.” Your child simply playing sports is not enough to warrant a modification as sports activities are considered extracurricular and voluntary. That is to say, the cost of sports play could be avoided just by not enrolling your child in sports at all.
To approve a child support modification, a court will usually look for a 15% increase or decrease to a parent’s income, if not more. There is also the chance a child support modification will be approved if there is a sizeable increase in a child’s expenses related to medical treatment, special education, and general cost-of-living. It is important to realize this vagueness in what the court expects to see in a modification petition actually gives you some wiggle room for arguments, which could turn the case to your favor.
To move your case forward with confidence, come to Ami L. DiLorenzo, P.A. and speak with our Ocala family law attorney. We can help you determine a fair amount of child support if you are divorcing, or come up with an amicable modification to bring to the court if raising your child has gotten unexpectedly more expensive. Consultations are available – just contact our firm at your first opportunity to request one.