It is a relief when your divorce case finally ends. But for many people, the battle continues long past the final judgment. Orders for spousal or child support can keep the parties’ financial situations entangled for years, providing ample opportunity for disputes. At The Henry Firm, P.A., with offices in Overland Park, Kansas, we understand the urgency parties face when dealing with enforcing or modifying a support order. Whether representing the paying or recipient party, we handle these matters promptly and with sensitivity to the client’s needs and concerns.
Many factors are considered when setting spousal support amounts in a divorce, including the length of the marriage, the ability of the parties to work and the assets of each party. When those factors change — such as through a loss of employment — our attorneys can assist in seeking to have the court modify the support obligation.
Support can be adjusted downward at any point, and may also be increased if there is proof of need. But increases in spousal support can happen only with the payer’s consent. The changes can be retroactive to as early as one month after the motion to modify was filed — so delays in getting a hearing date or negotiating with the other side may not mean lost support.
Our firm assists clients in adjusting spousal support based on a “substantial change in circumstances” as defined by Kansas law. This may include:
Regarding the last factor, the goal of spousal support in Kansas is to enable parties to be self-sufficient. A judge may put conditions on support — such as requiring a party to get job training — that once met may lead to modification or termination.
Spousal support in Kansas is limited to a term of 121 months, but it may be extended if needed, especially if the recipient spouse is working towards self-sufficiency. However, the motion for extension must be filed before the term expires.
Child support modification must follow state guidelines, which specify types of changes in circumstances that may be considered – such as a reduction in income, a different custody share or a child’s special needs that aren’t being met. When seeking a modification, our attorneys can help you pursue an amount that fits the realities of the situation and provides for the child appropriately.
Conversely, if you are the supporting parent and your income has changed, you may want to consider requesting modification.
When a spousal support payer falls behind, a number of enforcement measures can be taken, including:
Available options to enforce a court’s child support orders may include garnishing wages to collect overdue child support by sending an income withholding order (IWO) to the paying party’s employer, who then sets up automatic payroll deductions. Another means of enforcement may include placing liens on the paying party’s property.
The Henry Firm’s experienced trial lawyers have successfully fought for clients in support enforcement and modification proceedings. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys in Overland Park, call us at 913-381-5020 or contact us online.