Can you agree to lower or higher child support?

After you get a divorce, you may find that you want to seek a modification of your divorce decree. While it’s possible to seek a modification through court, many people who want to make changes to the divorce agreement will do so informally and then ask the court to approve those changes.

Child support is one item that is often modified following a divorce. For example, if you are paying child support and get a large raise, you may be able to pay more. Your ex-spouse may ask you to increase what you pay, or they could petition the court for a change because of the difference in your circumstances.

Similarly, if you are suddenly without work, you might want to ask for a reduction in what you need to pay and may ask to modify your decree to reflect those changes.

Why is it important to have the court sign off on any agreements you make with the other parent?

It is important because not getting the court’s approval means that you could be on the hook to pay everything you owe if the other parent takes you to court. An agreement made outside court isn’t likely to stand compared to the actual divorce decree and support order.

Most of the time, modifications can be settled without having to go to a trial or hearing. If you and the other parent cannot agree, then there is a potential that you will need to pursue support from the court system, however. Your attorney will be there to help if you do need to modify your support payment in court.

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