Child support orders are legal documents that are designed to ensure that children receive the financial support they need from both parents after a divorce. Child support requires one parent to pay a specified amount of money to the other parent to support their child. Can a child support order be changed? Yes, under certain circumstances, the parent can file a request for modification with the court to change the child support order.
Child support modification
The court allows a review of child support orders for possible modification every three years or when there is a significant change in circumstances. Those changes may include any of the following and more:
Increase in income: If either parent’s income significantly increases due to a raise, a career change, or an inheritance
Decrease in income: If either parent’s income significantly decreases, due to work hours being reduced, a new job at lower pay, retirement, or unemployment
Changes in custody: If the child is no longer in the custody of the parent that was appointed at the time of the child support order, this can impact the level of child support that is needed
Needs of the child: A child’s needs change on a regular basis. Sometimes those needs change significantly, such as due to unexpected medical bills, the need for orthodonture, tuition for school, or recreational activity fees
Any of these changes in circumstances may warrant a modification of child support. It is important to keep in mind that, even if your circumstances have changed, you cannot simply stop paying child support or change the amount you are paying. You must have a child support modification made by the court. To learn more about child support, modification orders, and your legal options, speak with a knowledgeable child support attorney.