Divorce And Child Support: 3 Reasons To Request For An Increase In Child Support Payments

When finalizing a divorce, you and your spouse need to determine what the custodial arrangements are going to be and the amount of child support that the non-custodial parent should pay to support the living expenses of the child. While the amount of child support that will be granted will differ case by case, there is a rough guideline that can be followed. This guide basically takes a percentage of your gross income. For example, if you are earning $15,000 annually, you will be expected to pay 17% of your gross income in child support payments. If you are the custodial parent and require more support to raise your child, here are 3 reasons to request for an increase in child support payments.

Increase in Non-Custodial Parent's Income

Let's say that the non-custodial parent is paying an amount that was previously determined by the guideline based on past income; however, if you find that it is not enough for you to raise your child or to maintain a certain level of quality of living, you should consider whether your former spouse has received an increase in income as of late. If you can prove that your former spouse has enjoyed an increase in income, your attorney might request for an increase in child support payments.

The reason for this is so that the child can live in similar circumstances when staying in either parent's home. For example, if the non-custodial parent has a lot of disposable income to buy electronic devices and games, your attorney might argue that the living standard in your home should be similar. As a result, the child support payments from the non-custodial parent should be increased so that the custodial parent can afford the same luxuries. Most of the time, a divorce attorney will include a clause in the original agreement that will automatically adjust the payments based on the annual income of each parent.

Decrease in Your Income

Have you recently gotten laid off or did you get a lot of hours docked due to the poor economy? If you have experienced a significant decrease in income, you might no longer be able to properly raise a child financially. It is the non-custodial parent's responsibility to step in to make sure that the child is taken care of. Your attorney can provide proof of the decrease in your income and expected decreases in the future to request that the non-custodial parent help make up the difference.

The child support payments may only be increased temporarily, until you're able to get on your feet. It is up to your attorney to negotiate how long the non-custodial parent should pay an increase in child support payments. You can even add clauses in your original agreement and arrangement so that the child support payments paid by the non-custodial parent will automatically adjust pending the submission of certain evidence.

Increase in Unexpected Costs of Raising the Child

Accidents happen, and your child's needs will change every year. Since nothing stays the same, the cost of raising a child may increase due to medical expenses, educational expenses, age-related expenses, and more. When circumstances change and you need more money to continue to raise your child, your attorney can either request that a certain lump-sum payment be made or that the child support payments be increased to match the need.

You might not necessarily need the payments to increase permanently. For example, if your child got into an accident, you might only need the non-custodial parent to cover a portion of the child's medical expenses.


Circumstances change with time, so make sure that you have a relatively flexible child support arrangement plan. If you ever find that the amount of child support that you are receiving is not enough, speak to an attorney to determine whether there's any adjustments that can be made based on the clauses in the agreement. Click here for more info.