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Child custody, Child Support

Can Child Support Be Modified?

Posted by Bhavesh on January 17, 2018

Child support is typically paid until a child reaches the age of 18, but support payments very rarely stay the same throughout the child’s life. Sometimes child support payments are automatically increased when children reach milestone ages, but payments can also go up or down based on changes in the financial circumstances of either parent. Because child support is a court order, modifying it will require approval by a judge.

Temporary Child Support Modification

Not all modifications are permanent. If you are facing a short-term emergency, a temporary modification can offer financial benefits. Temporary modifications are usually granted when there is a medical emergency for the child or one of the parents, or if one suffers temporary job loss.

When Permanent Modifications Can Be Made

A permanent change in the financial position of either parent can be grounds for a permanent child support modification. There are many situations that can qualify for a modification:

  • One parent remarrying, which increases their income and may increase child support payments.
  • Permanent disability of either spouse.
  • Career change of a parent.
  • Changing needs of the child. This may include higher education costs, extraordinary medical costs, or special needs.
  • A decrease in income. A custodial parent may request a modification if they can no longer support the child under the current support amount. The paying parent can request a modification if their income has been substantially reduced.
  • Increased number of dependents. The non-custodial parent may be entitled to lower child support payments if they remarry or have additional children to support.

As the custodial parent, requesting a child support modification can offer financial benefits for the child and family if you believe the other parent’s income has increased. As a non-custodial parent, it’s a good idea to only request a modification when you have experienced a great reduction in income or extraordinary circumstances. The courts often deny requests completely when income changes are not substantial.

Many states limit how often a child support order can be reconsidered. In most cases, an order can only be modified for whatever reason, every 24 months. If you believe you meet the qualifications to have your child support order modified, you will need to file a formal motion. An attorney can help you prepare your financial statements and other evidence to support your request. Contact the Jackson Law Firm today to schedule a consultation to review your child support order.

For more information on Child Support contact today one of our lawyers.

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