What Goes Into a Child Support Modification?

Child support is something that parents should understand is fluid. Children do not have the same needs as babies as they do as teens. Not only do the children have changing needs, but parents likely have evolving incomes and personal situations as well. There are times when changing the child support amount may be a necessity. How do you proceed when you need to make this kind of change? The child support modification process differs by state, but there are some essential elements that are consistent. Take a look at what you may see when it comes to modifying child support.

Establishing There Is a Need to Change Support

Many states require a change in circumstance as the catalyst to begin a child support modification action. Some states have a threshold that the one bringing the action must provide for the reasoning for making the request. For example, there may have to be a change in income, either up or down, of one parent. This may be set by state guidelines as a differing percentage point from the starting point. A state may require the change to be more than a 15% difference before it allows a recalculation of support.

Providing Proof of a Change in Circumstances

A change in income may not be the only reason a parent wants to support recalculated and modified. A change in circumstance is defined by state statute but may include things such as a change in the number of overnights, a change in the children’s medical condition, or a change in the living situation. For example, if the person paying support has another child born, it may mean that the current child support obligation changes. If the person receiving support suddenly has the children significantly more overnights, then they may want the other to pay more in support.

Going Through the Court

There are times when a parent needs to plead their child support modification case directly to a judge. There may be personal issues that necessitate the change request, and a state calculation will not take these into account. You may want to engage the services of a family lawyer, like a family lawyer in Rockville, MD, for this type of process. Having someone understand how the courts work when it comes to child support decisions will help you get a fair and just outcome.

There are some instances where the state may handle a child support modification, and the parties may be content with the way it is done. Even in this situation, getting the counsel of a lawyer who specializes in child support is beneficial.


Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into what goes into child support modification.