It can take months, sometimes years, for parents who share custody with one another to become friendly after the end of their relationship with each other. Eventually, as both parents continue to provide for and support the children, they may start to communicate in a more positive manner and have less tension during their interactions.
An improved relationship is one reason why a co-parent may not want to make any changes to an existing arrangement. For example, the family may have settled into a comfortable custody exchange routine and a situation where an employer withholds child support from one parent’s check every week without conflict.
The idea of talking about an increase in that support may make someone worry about the damage that discussion could do to their co-parenting relationship. How can one parent approach the topic of increasing support for their children?
They establish the necessity of an increase
Perhaps the simplest and least contentious way of bringing up the need for increased child support would involve discussing the changing needs of the children in the household. Maybe there has been a health issue that has increased a child’s care needs. Orthodontia and therapy can both cost hundreds of dollars per month and carry total treatment price tags that add up to thousands.
Beginning a discussion by talking about these expenses and then comparing them to child support amounts can be a viable approach. If there is no extraordinary expense but rather a combination of increasing household costs and good fortune on the part of the other spouse, a discussion of how grocery expenses and other basic needs have become more expensive can be a good starting point.
Cooperation is ideal but not always necessary
The greater the change in the needs of the children in the family, the better the chance that the courts might alter the child support order if the parents don’t agree to new terms themselves. Obviously, those trying to preserve an amicable relationship with the co-parent would typically prefer to reach solutions that work for everyone through mutual agreement.
However, those who are unable to provide fully for their children’s needs and unable to reach an arrangement with their co-parent could potentially ask the family courts to review and modify their support order. Trying to cooperate when adjusting child support is often a smart move, but it is not the only option for someone struggling to meet their children’s needs financially.