Copyright © Gary R. Spritz, Esquire, Delaware Divorce and Family Law. All rights reserved.
Are you receiving too little in child support in Delaware? Are you paying too much? In either event the mechanism to correct this is a Petition to Modify Child Support. However, before you file a Petition to Modify Child Support, I recommend you have an appointment with a lawyer. Here is why? Once a Petition to Modify Child Support is filed in Delaware, the court gains the ability to increase or decrease your child support. Delaware Family Court Civil Rule 508(d).
That mean if you file to decrease and you should be paying more, the court and your ex can obtain an order requiring you to pay more. If you file to increase and the ex learns they were paying too much, don’t be surprised if they ask to reduce the child support. How do you avoid this without doing nothing?
Determine the answer to these questions. The first question to answer is how old is your order and the second question to ask is what is different in my ex’s and my incomes from the time the support order was entered and now? After that, I suggest you get calculations done so you can see what the possible outcomes are from seeking a modification.
Why does this help? First if your order is less than 2 ½ years old, unless you can show a substantial change of circumstances from the time the support order was entered that is not your doing, the order will not be modified, To show a substantial change of circumstances to modify Delaware Child Support Order less than 2 ½ years old, you have to show the change would lead to a greater than 10% change in the amount of child support ordered. Delaware Family Court Civil Rule 508(c). Second, if the order is over 2 ½ years old, modification of child support is easier. However, in either event Delaware uses the Melson Formula to determine Delaware Child Support which for the most part is based on the Mother and Father’s income or earning capacity so you can make some estimations as to what the court will do if you set get these calculations done. That way you can determine if it makes sense for you to file.If you want to do this with an attorney, please call me at (302) 655-0900 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the form below to schedule an inexpensive initial consultation appointment.