The Amount of Child Support Can Be Changed
You Can Receive More Child Support
The court that makes the original child support award is said to have continuing jurisdiction to modify the order as conditions warrant. Either parent may request the court to change the order throughout the duration of the child’s minority. Modifications will not happen automatically. One of the parents must request the change by a formal motion to the court. If the spouse won’t pay what is owed, Click Here For Information On Help Enforcing a Support Order.
Child support orders cannot be changed simply because one parent desires a change. A change in the support amount will be based on evidence proving that sufficient grounds exist to make the change. This usually requires a showing of “changed circumstances” from the facts as they existed at the time that the last order was entered. (In the many years a child support order remains effective, the parent’s circumstances may change many times and so may the child support order.)
Many different facts can create changed circumstances. For example, if the paying parent has had a large increase in income, the court can order the child support increased. Or, if the child’s needs grow, such as if the child becomes ill or disabled, the amount of support can be ordered raised. Sometimes the mere passage of time creates the changed circumstances. For example, as a child grows older, it becomes more expensive to buy clothes, food and other necessities. These increased expenses can be enough to justify a raise in the support order.
Support can also be reduced upon a proper showing. For example, if the custodial parent inherits money, gets a large raise or otherwise has an increased ability to support the children, support payments may be reduced. Or, if the paying parent loses his or her job, the court can be asked to reduce support during the period of unemployment.