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Regardless of whether you are the non-custodial or custodial parent, it is important that you prepare thoroughly for a modification child support hearing. During the hearing, a judge will need to hear why a modification is requested and a good reason why the modification should be granted. Here are some tips for preparing for the modification hearing.
Read and Re-Read Your Mail
In the period leading up to the hearing, you might receive several communications from your child support lawyer and the court. You might even receive communications from the other parent's attorney. It is important that you take time to read every communication.
After you have read it, re-read it. If necessary, take notes. You want to be sure that you clearly understand the purpose of the letter and have taken away from it the most important details. If a response to the mail is required, give one promptly. For communications from the other parent's attorney or the court, talk to your attorney before responding.
Fill Out All Forms Correctly
You will receive a lot of forms asking for specific details from you. In a modification hearing, both parents might be required to report their income and expenses again. Do not forget to include all of your income. This even includes money you are earning under-the-table.
If you are the non-custodial parent, do not try to manipulate the forms so that you end up paying less. If you are the custodial parent, do not attempt to manipulate the forms to increase the amount you receive. If you are dissatisfied with the amount you pay or receive, your attorney can help take legal action to correct that.
Make Every Effort to Attend
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to miss the modification hearing. Even if your attorney is there, you are also responsible for being there. A judge could decide against you in a major way if you are not in attendance.
For instance, your payments could be increased based solely on the income the court thinks you earn. You need to be there to explain any extenuating circumstances that impact how much you actually have to spend monthly. This can include caring for another child or a sick parent.
Your attorney might have additional tips for preparing for a modification hearing. It is important that you follow the directions that are given to you by the attorney. Failing to do so, could work against you in the end. If you need more help or have other questions, contact a professional like Robert J. Schmit.