When determining child support, the law considers both the needs of shared children and the financial circumstances of each parent. However, this amount is not set in stone.
From losing a job or gaining a promotion, major life changes for either spouse may make it necessary to request that the court review and possibly modify support amounts. A parent receiving support may also want to pursue support modification if a child’s needs have changed, whether due to increased medical, educational or other care-related expenses.
1. When can a parent request a support order review?
If it has been less than 36 months since the court issued a child support order, a parent requesting review and modification must show that his or her circumstances have changed significantly. Common reasons that parents petition for a support order review include higher or lower income amounts, changes in where the child resides or increased expenses related to a child’s needs.
2. Which parent can ask for modification?
Either parent may request support review from the Department of Child Support Services. Upon completion of the review, the DCSS may increase or decrease payment amounts if there has been a major change in circumstances. The DCSS may also decide that the standing order should remain the same.
3. How long does the modification process take?
It may take several months for the DCSS to review and potentially alter a support order. Before approving a change, the department must verify the income and assets of both parties and recalculate appropriate support amounts. Providing all necessary information when requesting modification may help to avoid processing delays.