Child Support & High Inflation

Child Support & High Inflation

How Inflation Affects Living & Childcare Expenses

Inflation is affecting everyone in the nation, and gas prices and mortgage rates aren’t the only things on the rise. Childcare expenses as well as the cost of living have increased. Common childcare-related expenses that may have increased include:

  • Education costs (i.e. tuition, books, uniforms, etc.)
  • Rent or mortgage
  • Transportation costs
  • Food/grocery bills
  • Healthcare bills
  • Clothing
  • Babysitting and/or daycare expenses
  • Other miscellaneous expenses, including toys, extracurricular activity fees, etc.

Because of the rising cost of living and inflation, you may wonder whether child support can be modified. As the parent receiving the support, your income may not have increased, which can affect your ability to make ends meet. However, the paying parent may also be experiencing financial difficulties in the current economy.

Cost-of-Living Adjustment Clauses

A Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) clause or provision can be included in a child support agreement, and the clause dictates that the agreed-upon support payments can be modified annually based on the current cost of living. As inflation has prices on the rise currently, this clause would benefit the recipient spouse. However, if the cost of living were to decrease, the paying spouse would benefit as they could move to have payments decreased.

Does Inflation Affect Child Support Payments?

If you did not include a COLA clause in your child support agreement, you may wonder if inflation gives you just cause to seek a modification of child support. In Georgia, either party can file for a modification of their child support order if they can prove there is a substantial change in circumstance in the financial needs of the child or the financial status or income of either parent. Whether inflation qualifies as a valid reason for modification is debatable. Neither party’s income has actually changed, but it can be argued that their financial status has changed because of the current market.

However, inflation can affect both parties, which can complicate a modification request. While the paying parent may struggle with the increased cost of expenses, the paying parent may not be able to afford an increase in payments. If the paying parent can provide proof that they cannot afford an increase in payments, a request for an increase may be denied; in some cases, the court may award the paying parent with a request for a decrease in payments.

You should consult with an attorney if you want to modify your child support agreement for any reason (including inflation). They can advise you of your legal rights and options, and they can offer you case-specific insights.

Contact Our Attorneys Today

Balbo & Gregg, Attorneys at Law, PC is one of the more experienced firms in the area. Backed by over 40 years of combined experience, our attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients protect their interests and make informed decisions. If you need counsel concerning child support, child custody, or other divorce-related matters, we are here to help you and can act as strong advocates should you decide to pursue a modification or wish to include a COLA clause in your child support agreement.

Contact our team today for a free consultation by calling (866) 580-3089 or completing our online contact form.