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How to Modify Child Support

BY: Kecia C. Van't Hof

May 12, 2021

When children are involved in a divorce proceeding, typically a court will enter an Order determining child support. The amount of child support ordered will stay the same until a child reaches the age of majority (18 or 19 in some states) or until the child graduates from high school or college – whichever is ordered by the court. Generally, a court will not modify a child support order unless there has been a substantial change in circumstances.

A substantial change in circumstances occurs if there has been a major change for either party that would affect the support needed for the children. Examples of substantial changes that are likely to result in a modification of child support are listed below:

The children now reside with one parent more than the other – differently from what was ordered by the court originally;

There has been a big move by either parent;

A parent now makes either substantially less or more income than they did when the child support order was entered; or

There is any suspicion/allegation of abuse and neglect.

If there has been a substantial change in circumstances, you can petition the court to modify the support order. To do this, you can either hire an attorney or you can proceed pro se, or, without an attorney. For the petition, you will need to state that there was a decree or order entered, when it was entered, that there has been a material change in circumstances.

Within the Petition, you will ask the court for what you would like modified. Next, you will serve the other side with the petition. The court will then schedule a hearing on the matter. You will need to show that there has indeed been a material change in circumstances and show that the modification of the child support order would be necessary and in the best interest of the minor child/ren.

If you are seeking a modification of a support or custody order, give Gehling Osborn Law Firm a call.

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