Child Support Modification

Ever Have Questions about Child Support Modification?

My husband got a job and makes more money.
I make a lot less money now than when my divorce was final.
My children live with a different parent now. Can we change the amount of child support?

In the changing economy, these are very common questions. Fortunately, the answers are simple. The answer is yes, child support can be modified.

The court can modify an order that provides for support of a child if 1) the circumstances of the child or a person affected by the order have materially and substantially changed or 2) it has been 3 years since the order was rendered or last modifies and the monthly amount of the child support award differs by either 20 percent or $100.00 from the amount that would be awarded in accordance with the child support guidelines.

Courts have determined that a material and substantial change in circumstances to allow for modification of child support have included the following:

  • A change in the child’s primary residence
  • A determination that the obligor is not the biological father
  • An increase in the necessary expenses for a child
  • An increase or decrease in a parent’s financial ability to support a child
  • An increase or decrease in a parents salary
  • The birth of another child
  • A change in cost to exercise possession
  • A significant change in parent’s employment
  • A significant change in amount of possession
  • Incarceration of a parent

It is important to note that the parties cannot agree to modify the terms of court ordered child support without court approval. The parties must file the appropriate pleadings and submit their agreement to the court for consideration. Courts will rely upon the statutory guidelines in calculating modified child support. Those factors include, salary, medical expenses and total number of children to support. Either party may seek modification of child support as long as the circumstances fit the guidelines.