To prevent filings based on inconsequential increases and decreases in
income, the law requires showing a substantial change before a support
order can be modified.
Unfortunately, there is not a "bright line" rule to determine
what actually constitutes a substantial change income. However, an attorney
can help you evaluate whether dips or increases in income can justify a filing.
This is done by evaluating a current Income and Expense Declaration, along
with current tax returns. The most crucial factor is whether either party's
income has changed significantly since the date your final judgment was
entered by the court.
Another factor to consider is a change in the time you and your ex-spouse
care for your children. Has your former partner moved farther away, and
are you experiencing increased cost related to visitation? Is your former
partner shirking their obligation and avoiding their child care responsibilities?
These could be reasons to seek a modification of support, and possibly
custody, and you should consult an attorney immediately to evaluate your options.
It's important not to rush to court to seek seemingly inconsequential
support adjustments, as this ultimately undermines your credibility before
a judge. However, you should protect yourself and make sure the support
you're receiving, or paying, is justified by the actual circumstances
of your day-to-day life.