When it comes to child support, circumstances can change over time. Whether it's due to a custodial parent receiving an inheritance, a significant increase in income, or simply being better able to support their children, modifications to the existing child support order may be necessary. To ensure that there is no confusion later on, any agreement to modify child support must be made in writing. In the event that the court finds that a parent who owes child support has been “voluntarily impoverished”, they can “impute income to father”.
This means that the child support modification will only be maintained for as long as the father is in jail or prison and payments will resume after their release. The child support obligation of a parent who is in jail or prison can also be modified as a “temporary material change of circumstances”. This could include an increase in child support payments if the paying parent has had a significant increase in income or if the child's needs have increased due to illness or incapacity. The best way to ensure that the child support order matches the agreement between both parents is to file a motion for modification with the court. This should be done in writing to avoid any misunderstandings later on.
If the paying parent has had a smaller change in income, they can still request a modification but it is not guaranteed that the court will grant it. Unpaid child support payments will not accrue in arrears (meaning that unpaid payments will not accumulate) while the father is in jail or prison and for 60 days after their release. When attempting to modify child support, it must be shown that there has been a significant change in circumstances since the last child support order was issued.