When Should You File To Modify Child Support After Your Divorce?

Today, we are discussing what you should do in terms of filing for a modification of child support after your West Virginia divorce has been finalized. One of the most common questions I get about child support is where do I start when wanting to modify it. Now, one thing that people do oftentimes is that they think that they have to go through the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement. Sometimes someone will be divorced and call up and tell them that their income has changed and need help with this. One of the problems with that though is sometimes the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement does not follow up on those calls.

For example, what will happen is somebody will send in the paperwork, they won’t hear about it for months and then a letter may come basically that the formula they use is saying they don’t think it’s worth their while to do it for you. In many of those instances I’ve taken their information and I’ve run the numbers and determined that they would likely have grounds for a modification. What I always recommend what people do is that they actually go and speak with an attorney, whether it’s me or somebody else and just get a basic idea as to whether their child support is going to be modified. One of the most important things to remember when you’re going for a modification of child support is that it’s retroactive back to the date of the person being served after the petition has been filed.

Let’s say you file the petition on October 1st and they’re not going to be served until a few days later. It’s only going back to the date in which the person was served with the petition for modification. That’s a huge issue that people think that after they turned in information to the BCSC and it’s going to be granted modification and it’s going to go back to the date that I gave the information to the BCSC. Unfortunately, it’s absolutely not true. It’s going to go back to the date that you filed for the modification. What you need to do is even if you don’t have time to go and speak with an attorney or if you can’t get in with one, just go down to the courthouse and file the modification paperwork yourself.

There should be forms to do this in just about every circuit clerk’s office in the state. It’s not ideal because you ideally want to go through an attorney’s office or at least talk to an attorney before you file something. That’s the most ideal thing you can do. However, at the same time, it’s worth your while to go and file something. Let’s say that you can get in with an attorney till a little bit later, let’s say a week or two after that. If there’s any issues with the paperwork that you filed, there are ways an attorney can actually go and fix it. Just remember, you cannot wait around on this and expect it to be changed though. I’ve had people just wait months and months after they’ve lost their job and they haven’t filed for a modification.

The worst possible thing you can do whenever you’ve lost a job is wait to file your modification. Whenever there’s been a dramatic drop in income, go down to the courthouse and immediately file or immediately contact an attorney’s office. If wondering, the grounds for a change in the child support amount is a 15% change in the amount that you’re paying or that the former spouse is paying. Let’s say for example, the child support amount is $1,000 a month. If it goes from a thousand to 1100 or a thousand to 900 after the court runs the formula. In this example, that would not be grounds for a modification. However, let’s say that it went from a thousand to 1200 a thousand to 800 that would be grounds for a modification. Just keep that in mind whenever you’re figuring out whether you are going to file or not file for a modification after your West Virginia divorce.Pritt+Feb+CTA+%281%29.jpg