Cedar Rapids Altering Child Support Agreements Lawyers
Going through the divorce or separation process can be incredibly challenging emotional, mentally, and financially. When children are involved, the emotional and financial strains can become even more oppressive. What may have seemed like a fair child support agreement upon separation may now be too much or not enough as the child’s needs and other circumstances have changed. The process of altering a child support agreement can be very confusing and time-consuming because there are well-established protocols to follow and guidelines in place. That’s why the experienced attorneys at Arenson Law Group, PC are here to help if you need to alter a child support agreement.
At Arenson Law Group, PC, we have been serving clients in Cedar Rapids and the surrounding areas for nearly 20 years. We like to know each client by name, as we pride ourselves on building solid client relationships. Our team of experienced attorneys understands that circumstances and life changes can happen, and those unforeseen changes can alter you and your family’s lives in significant and meaningful ways. We are well versed in a variety of family law practice areas so that we can truly understand your needs and all the factors that can impact your outcome. Having built a reputation for getting results and serving the community with the utmost care and diligence, we are esteemed by both clients and peers.
Altering your child support agreement can be a confusing and tedious process filled with many considerations. Do not go through this trying period alone. Contact the Cedar Rapids altering child support agreements attorneys at Arenson Law Group, PC today for help by calling (319) 363-8199 or filling out a contact form.
Child Support in Iowa
Under Iowa law, parents must support their minor children up until the age of 18 or 19. The obligation to pay child support can be initiated through a court process and is generally determined by a judge during a divorce or custody proceeding. The Iowa Department of Human Services, Child Support Recovery Unit (CSRU) can also help with child support orders. With an order from the court, they may conduct an administrative process to determine child support or alter an existing agreement. In either case, a judge must sign off on the child support order.
When determining how much child support a parent must contribute, the court considers each parent’s income and the number of children that are involved. In most cases, the judge or CSRU use the Iowa Child Support Guidelines (which includes the Iowa Schedule of Basic Support Obligations) to determine support obligations. Based on this table, the judge or CSRU determines the amount of child support needed and each parent pays a share of that amount based on their respective incomes.
Once a child support order has been entered, altering the child support agreement can be done by the court or by going through an administrative process with the Child Support Recovery Unit.
Altering Child Support Agreements
There are a variety of reasons parents may need to alter their child support agreements. To alter a support agreement, the party desiring the modification can request it with the court or the CSRU.
The court will modify a child support agreement if it finds there has been a substantial change in circumstances. According to Iowa Code 598.21C, some factors the court considers in determining if there has been a substantial change include the following:
- Changes in employment
- Changes in earning capacity
- Changes in income or resources
- Changes in medical expenses
- Changes in physical, mental, or emotional health
- Changes in numbers or needs of the dependents
- Changes in residency of the parties and the children
- Support of a party from other sources
- Changes in the physical, emotional, or educational needs of the child whose support is governed by the order
- Remarriage of a party
- A party’s receipt of an inheritance, pension, or gift
- Any other factor the court determines to be relevant in a specific case
For a child support agreement to be altered, the party needing the change will have to apply to the court for a modification of the order.
The CSRU can also modify child support orders if the party requesting the modification has a court order saying the following:
- You have to pay child support
- You are supposed to get child support payments
- You have the right to get child support payments in the future
To initiate a modification, the party will have to fill out the Agency’s form to request to modify a child support obligation. When deciding whether to modify an order, CSRU will first determine if:
- They are enforcing an order and if Iowa is the only state that can modify the order
- It has been at least 24 months since the order was entered, the child support changed, or since the state said it could not change the order, whichever event is last
- The current child support amount ends more than 12 months in the future
If the CSRU determines it has the authority to alter the child support agreement, it will determine which of its three processes is most appropriate for the facts and circumstances of a given case. The court won’t disrupt a modification made by the CSRU unless it deviates from the Iowa Child Support Guidelines as established by the Iowa Supreme Court. During the modification process, modification of child support obligation is the only thing that can be considered; to change custody or other arrangements, a separate process must be undertaken.
Altering child support agreements can be a confusing and tedious process, and missteps in the process can delay modifications and cause extra stress. That’s why the experienced attorneys at Arenson Law Group, PC are here to help you make sure everything goes smoothly.
At Arenson Law Group, PC, we have been helping parties alter their child support agreements for nearly two decades. We understand that when financial status and other circumstances change, adjustments must be made to financial support obligations. Dealing with the aftermath of a divorce and raising children can be stressful enough without also having to worry about receiving the proper child support. Allow the highly-qualified Cedar Rapids child support attorneys at Arenson Law Group, PC to alleviate your stress by helping you alter your child support agreement. Call us today at (319) 363-8199 to schedule a consultation.
Written by James H. ArensonLast Updated : December 3, 2021