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Can the noncustodial parent challenge a child support increase?

Meeting the financial needs of children after divorce is challenging for both parents. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to modify the terms of a child support agreement to make certain children have everything they need to thrive.

In North Dakota and other states, either parent may petition a court to increase the amount of financial support a child receives. Typically, the parent making the request must submit the proper form or make the request in writing.

Despite the ease associated with asking for additional child support, such a request will likely not receive approval without a careful review. In other words, the requesting parent must be able to show why the increase is required. Four examples of valid reasons for an increase include the following.

  • Increased costs of day care while parents are working
  • Child suffers a disabling or chronic medical condition
  • The custodial parent loses all or some of his or her income
  • Increased educational costs (tutors, private school, etc.)

Sometimes, both parents agree that increased support funds are necessary. Other times, one parent -- usually the one obligated to pay -- may disagree with a child support modification. For example, if the parent paying support suspects that the other parent's request is unwarranted or based on false information, he or she may challenge the request.

One thing you should understand is that you must be prepared to show why a child support increase is unwarranted. If you need assistance with this process, an attorney experienced in family law matters can help. Your lawyer can assist you in acquiring the documentation necessary to support your side of the case. Another benefit of attorney assistance involves helping you present the facts of your case to the court accurately and succinctly.

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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