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Child Support Modification And Change Of Circumstances

Greco Law successfully defended a Father in Appeals Court against the Mother’s motion to modify Father’s child support obligation. The parties had a Shared Parenting Plan where weekly parenting time alternated between the two. The parties agreed in their Divorce Decree that neither parent would pay child support to the other, as each was responsible for the costs of the child during their parenting time.

However, Mother filed a Motion to Modify Child Support after the divorce had concluded, despite the parties’ earlier agreement. The Trial Court granted Mother’s motion and ordered the Father to pay child support to the Mother. The Trial Court argued it had found a substantial change of circumstances had occurred, justifying the modification.

Must Not ‘Contemplate’ The Change Of Circumstances

Upon our appeal, the Court of Appeals ruled a trial court may modify a child support obligation if (1) A substantial change of circumstances has occurred since the time the obligation was imposed and (2) That the substantial change in circumstances was not contemplated at the time the obligation was imposed.

However, the Appeals Court ruled the Trial Court failed to find that the change in circumstances was not contemplated by the parties at the time they agreed to the child support order. As a result, the Court of Appeals reversed the Trial Court’s decision and remanded the case for further proceedings.

The phrase “not contemplated at the time the obligation was imposed” is extremely case and fact-specific. Whether the parties “contemplated” something can come down to whether or not they thought about, talked about, or knew that the change of circumstances was likely to happen at some point in the future. In this case, the Appeals Court found this was not present.

Proving the “contemplation” of a change of circumstances requires in depth, and serious consideration of the current realities involved in the case, as well as extensive work to provide proof of either side of the argument. When one has an issue involving the modification of support, we recommend retaining skilled and experienced counsel.

To read the full Court opinion Click Here.

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Attorney Anthony W. Greco has over 25 years of experience as an attorney. Our firm consists of talented divorce and custody attorneys, with significant knowledge of the law surrounding the modification of child support. Each attorney has had time in a courtroom, fighting for our clients’ interests. With our “results-oriented” approach and a focus on our clients’ needs and wants, we have helped many clients get the results they wanted. Click Here to contact us today and see what sets us apart from other firms.