Child support won’t keep up with costs without a little extra work

The annual cost of raising a child is almost always rising. If you have child support to help you cover the expenses, it might not be long before the amounts don’t add up.

Bringing up a child can cost over $23,000 every year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Housing, food and education are the largest contributors, and those price tags often enter into support hearings in divorce. If costs are getting too big to handle, then it might be time to seek a change.

Parenting petition

Your first step will be to fill out the appropriate paperwork. Once you hand that over, you’ll need to try to notify your former spouse. A change isn’t guaranteed, and there are three ways your attempt will likely go:

  • Default: If there’s no response from your notification attempt, you may have to proceed without them. This doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get your change, it just means you can go ahead and schedule your final hearing. You’ll again need to notify them once you have your hearing set.
  • Uncontested: When the other parent agrees with your wishes, you may have smooth sailing ahead. You’ll still need to attend a final hearing to put the agreement before the judge, but your chances are better when there’s no push-back from the person cutting the checks.
  • Contested: Your request for more money may meet some resistance. Your past partner could enter a counteroffer, or turn you down altogether. This means your next step may be either mediation to talk things over, or trial to take it through more strict channels.

Raising children is expensive, which is why your support order is in place. You may need to do some additional work to make sure it keeps pace with growing costs. It’s essential to understand the process for modification as it could give you the funds to provide for your family for years to come.