The amount and length of time for a child support obligation established by court order will remain in effect unless one of the parties files a motion to modify. Arkansas requires the payment of child support until a child reaches the age of 18 unless the child in question is still a full-time high school student. If the child is still a full-time high school student, then the child support obligation will last until he or she turns 19 or graduates from high school, whichever event occurs first. In some cases, such as if a child is disabled or incapable of supporting themselves, the child support obligation may last much longer.
If you need a change in your child support obligation, you must seek a modification of the obligation through the court. You should not wait until you are in debt and you should not rely on any informal agreement you may have made with the custodial parent, as this could land you in trouble should they ever change their mind.
When Can You Seek Child Support Modification in Arkansas?
Arkansas law allows a person to seek modification of a child support order when the payor experiences a “material change in circumstances.” This means that the gross income of the payor has gone up or down by greater than 20% or greater than $100 per month. Modification is also permissible when the payor experiences a change in his or her ability to provide the child or children with health insurance. These kinds of material changes in circumstances often result from a job loss or starting a new job.
If you have experienced a material change in circumstances and you are the payor of a child support obligation, you should seek modification immediately. It can take upwards of several months before the court can set a hearing date on your motion for modification. It can also take a substantial amount of time to get the court order modifying the child support obligation. The wait time can be especially stressful if you have experienced a substantial loss in income.
Arkansas Child Support Attorney
In child support modification cases, time is usually of the essence. If a person requires a modification of child support, it is usually due to financial struggles. Child support obligations can pile up in the meantime. In some situations, a motion for modification may request that the court hold a brief emergency hearing in order to schedule a hearing date for the motion for modification more quickly. The family law court system can be complex and difficult to navigate.
For child support legal counsel you can count on, the Law Offices of Bryce Cook is here for you. Our knowledgeable family law attorney is here to answer any questions you may have and to provide legal counsel you can count on. Contact us today.