The non-custodial parent wants to petition court to reduce amount of child support paid each month. What can I expect to happen? Must I appear in court? What happens if I don't appear before judge? Do I need representation? What documents etc, do I need?
1 Answer from Attorneys
The other parent must show changed circumstances, usually a change in income that is not self-imposed (on his part), or an increase perhaps in your income, but other circumstances could apply too. A new child support worksheet must be submitted, and this will usually be the determining factor.
You will want to appear to oppose any unfavorable changes: the judge will likely give it to a child support hearing officer, a non-judge who will collect your facts and make a recommendation to the judge. To you it will look like a hearing before a judge. I always suggest you get legal representation if you can afford it, but these hearings are geared pretty well for pro se persons (means self-represented).
The order for the hearing will tell you what documents to bring, off the top of my head it would be the last tax return, several recent pay check stubs, any other income sources. Follow the instructions. I suggest you document any extraordinary expenses you have in raising the child such as child care, after school activities, tutoring, recreational expenses (little league, dance classes).
You can call the pro se office at the courthouse or visit it (2nd and Lomas, SW corner, second floor as I recall) and get some fact sheets to describe the process.