Most parents in West Virginia just want was is best for their children. Securing things like financial support after a divorce is often key to that hope. However, child support is not necessarily as cut and dried as some parents might think.

Figuring out the correct amount of child support takes time and a bit of flexibility. Judges generally consider things like parents’ incomes and earning potential as well as parenting time and the child’s standard of living. Judges also have the discretion to consider other factors that they deem relevant to the situation.

Still, a judge can only work with the information that he or she has at the time of the divorce. Life is incredibly varied and change is not just likely, it is guaranteed. So what happens if one parent starts a new job with more income, or another experiences an unexpected loss of income? A judge can modify a support order to more accurately reflect parents’ and children’s changing situations. If a modification is needed, it is usually better to do so sooner rather than later.

Parents should understand that petitioning for a modification can also affect things like spousal support. In family law, child support is almost always prioritized over spousal support. If child support is decreased, than spousal support usually — although not always — is too.

Child support often plays a key role in a child’s financial security after divorce. As such, it is important to not only get child support right at the time of divorce, but to seek modifications when necessary. In this manner, West Virginia parents can generally keep their child’s best interests at the center of any and all family law matters.