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Can I Get My Child Support or Alimony Payments Reduced?

The court ordered you to make child support payments after your divorce. You weren't all that happy with the terms, but you've made it work.

Until now - you've lost your job, the bills are piling up, and the last thing you need is to go to jail for not paying child support.

There are lots of reasons you may want to change a child support or alimony agreement, but even if you and your spouse agree that changes are needed in your child support or alimony arrangement, you can't just change it on your own. If you do, you will be in violation of a court order, which means you could be held in contempt of court.

Instead, call your SC divorce attorney on the Axelrod team so we can help you get the court to modify your child support order. We can request a change in the amount and/or the terms of your child support payments based on a change in your circumstances.

When Does the Court Agree to Child Support Modifications in SC?

Courts will consider modifying child support agreements when:

  • The income of either spouse has changed. We may be able to get the court to reduce your payment if you lost your job or took a pay cut. Likewise, if your previously unemployed spouse gets a job or if they get a pay increase, we may be able to get your obligations modified.
  • The child's needs have changed substantially. If your child has experienced changes in their mental or physical health, you can make a case for modified child support payments.
  • Your child no longer lives with the other parent. If your child moves out of your ex's home - even if they move into your home full-time - your child support obligation does not automatically end. Your divorce attorney will need to file the appropriate paperwork with the court to change your obligation.
  • Either parent has been incarcerated.
  • Either parent has become disabled.
  • Either spouse has been called up for military service.

When Can Alimony Payments Be Modified?

Spousal support payments are usually subject to modification. In fact, some alimony orders specifically define circumstances that would allow the agreement to be changed or terminated.

Otherwise, modifications to alimony can only be made when either spouse has seen a significant change in financial circumstances. One of the most common is retirement.

But, retirement does not automatically result in an alimony modification. The court considers several factors when deciding whether to allow a retirement-related post-divorce alimony modification, including:

  • The age of the spouse who is retiring;
  • The health of the spouse who is making payments;
  • How retirement will affect the supporting spouse's income;
  • Whether the retirement was voluntary; and
  • Whether retirement was already planned when alimony was awarded.

Got Axelrod?

If you need to make changes in your child support or alimony obligations, call your SC divorce attorney on the Axelrod team. We will review your situation, advise you as to whether a modification is likely or even possible, gather the evidence that you will need to make your case, file the paperwork with the court, and represent you at the hearing.

Call now at 843-353-3449 or fill out our contact form to set up an initial consultation with an experienced SC domestic law attorney on the Axelrod team.

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Axelrod & Associates, P.A.
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Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

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