When Should I Modify My Child Support Order?
As time progresses from the date on which a child support order is entered, families may experience changes to their financial situation, such as job loss, reduced income, or an increase in the minor child’s educational and/or medical expenses.
These occurrences may be deemed as a substantial change of circumstance, and when they arise either parent can request that the Child Support Services Department (CSSD) review his or her child support case for modification.
What are examples of Substantial Changes in Circumstances?
- A change in primary custody (who the child lives with most of the time)
- A change in employment of either parent
- A change in living expenses
- A significant change in visitation (parenting time)
- A significant change in the income of either parent
- Incarceration of the person paying support
- The person paying support starts receiving General Relief, Supplemental Security Income, or Veteran’s Benefits
- Military deployment
What is the Modification Review Process?
When either parent requests a modification with the CSSD, the department will send a modification packet to both parents requesting information about each of their financial status and various other factors that affect child support.
CSSD will then review the information provided by each parent and determine if asking the court for a modification is appropriate based on the financial and other information provided by the parents.
If CSSD determines that a modification is appropriate, both parents will be informed of the decision. CSSD will file the necessary papers with the court to set a court hearing unless the parties can agree to the support amount ahead of time. If an agreement is reached, a stipulation must be filed with the court. When the judicial officer signs the form, it becomes a court order. If an agreement is not reached ahead of time, the case will go to court and the judicial officer will decide the amount of support. At the court hearing, the amount of the child support order may be either increased or decreased, or the judge may deny the motion to modify.
If you have a child support agreement in place and would like to request a modification, complete the form below to schedule your free consultation and find out what your options are!