Child support is a payment made by one parent to the other to provide necessities for their child. When the court issues a child support order, it reviews the income of both parents, the number of children they have and the time each parent spends with the child.
Sometimes, child support orders need to be changed. This is called a child support modification and there are steps each parent should be aware of in the process.
Child support modifications
If either parent would like to change the child support order, they must first file a petition with the court. The parent must include information about why they are requesting the change and the new amount of child support requested.
If there has been a substantial change in circumstances, the child support order can be modified. Generally, this includes an increase or decrease in either parent’s income, a change in the custody arrangement, or a change in the child’s needs.
The petitioning parent must include evidence for the change in circumstances, such as a tax return, pay stub or other proof of expenses. The other parent will then be given an opportunity to respond.
If both parents agree to the modification, they can submit a written agreement to court. The judge will then review it and either approve or deny the agreement.
If the other parent does not agree with the modification, the court will schedule a hearing where both parties can present evidence.
When the modification is finalized, it does not change previous payments. Also, if the parent who wants the modification has not paid their child support, those back payments are not waived. The parent will still be responsible for paying any past due amounts.