Common reasons why people request to modify child support

Many people are unaware that a child support amount established by the Providence Family Court, can be changed. The RI Family Court Court will require that the reason for the change is valid and that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the prior court order.  If you are in need of child support legal advice in Rhode Island, contact a RI child support lawyer. A Providence child support attorney will make sure that you get the justice that you deserve in Rhode Island Family Court. Simply not wanting to pay the amount established during the divorce or custody hearings is not a valid excuse. However, there are a few common reasons that the Court will allow support payments to be lowered. If you are in need of child support legal advice contact a child support lawyer in RI.


  • Disability

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Divorce in Rhode Island

If the parent that is paying the child support becomes disabled and as a result of this disability takes a loss in income, the Rhode Island Family Court may allow child support payments to be adjusted according to the parties new income level. A disability in itself does not prevent people from paying child support. Parents who recieve SSI are not required to pay child support.  The obligor parent, receiving SSDI, may be obligated to pay child support if  the child support amount is more than the SSDI dependency benefit. If the child support guideline amount is more than the dependency benefit the obligor parent must pay the amount of child support that exceeds the SSDI dependency benefit.

  • Loss of Income.

If a person becomes temporarily unemployed due to lay off or other reasons, the Court may temporarily adjust child support payments until that person returns to work. In addition, if the new job is at a lower wage than the previous employer, the terms of the support may be adjusted to meet the new income level.

  • Change In Medical Status.

If the child support payments included payments for special needs or daycare and the child no longer needs this medical treatment, or daycare than adjustments can be made to the support. However, any new medical needs that may arise for the child may result in an increase at a later date.

  • additional dependent child

If either party has an additional dependent child to support, such change in circumstances may warrant a modification. There are other circumstances that may qualify for a change in child support. However, you must keep in mind that the reasons must be legitimate, and you must be able to prove those reasons in Court. A change in your lifestyle, such as deciding to move to a luxury apartment or buy an expensive car, will not convince the judge to change your child support payments so that you can afford these bills.

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“In 2013, some of the lowest rates of receiving all child support that was due belonged to custodial parents who were under 30 years old (30.3 percent), who had less than a high school education (30.3 percent), whose child had no contact with their other parent (32.0 percent), who were Black (33.7 percent), or who had never married (34.1 percent). These rates were not statistically different from each other (Figure 5). Custodial parents who had at least a Bachelor’s degree (62.4 percent), who had joint legal or physical custody of their child(ren) (58.6 percent), who were 40 years or older (58.5 percent), or who were divorced (56.5 percent) had some of the highest rates of receiving all child support payments that were due in 2013. ”   U.S. Census Bureau, Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2013 By Timothy Grall Current Population Reports Issued January 2016