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Child Support Modification – Mediate or Litigate?

Child Support Modification – Mediate or Litigate?

The amount of child support you will need to pay is based on statutory guidelines, so filing a modification will require a substantial change of circumstances, such as a significant change in income. Whether you are filing a child support modification action, or defending against one, it is important to consider whether you will want to mediate or litigate to resolve the issue.

Before jumping into a battle in response to an action to modify child support, it is important to know what the grounds for an action are.  Child support modifications are covered under Georgia law in O.C.G.A. §19-6-15.  One important factor to always consider first in that either party to a child support order can only petition the court to modify the the child support every two (2) years or more, unless there is a involuntary decrease of income due to job loss, etc.  However, the first modification action can be filed anytime after the initial child support order is issued.

Whatever method you decide on, it will drive the conversation and the ultimate consequences of the outcome. Of course, your choice should be informed by the details of your case and some cases will not benefit from mediation. If you do not anticipate you and your spouse being able to work out your differences and settle on a solution, you should opt for litigation. Same goes for cases with larger underlying issues that the court will need to decide upon.

However, mediation will save you time, money, and stress in the long run if you choose it. Just remember to do everything through a legal medium, as the courts will not be able to help you later should things go awry because you took them into your own hands. Mediation is a great middle ground, since it is legally official and can remain more relaxed and less stressful emotionally and financially.

Coleman Legal Group, LLC’s attorneys have experience with all types of child support modification actions and can help you decide which type of case is best for you. We have experience in mediation and are able to help you and your co-parent work through all issues to arrive at the best outcome for you and your family. Call 770-609-1247 to speak with one our experienced mediation and litigation attorneys today.

Revised 2016-09-14

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