Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Understanding when a child support modification may be possible

Parents may find over the course of their child's childhood that they need to modify a child custody or child support order. Parents should be aware that just because they have changed jobs, their child support does not also immediately change based on their new salary. The family law process provides resources to help parents seek a child support modification when needed.

Both the paying parent and the custodial parent receiving child support can request a child support modification. If the paying parent changes jobs and has substantially less earnings, they may request a child support modification. Likewise, if the parent begins earning a higher salary, the custodial parent may request a child support modification to increase the amount of child support received. A change in income may warrant a child support modification.

Child support modifications are based on a substantial change in circumstances. When considering a request to modify child support, the family law court will consider a variety of factors when determining if a child support modification should be granted. Factors the court may look to when considering a child support modification request include a significant change in the needs of the child; an increased cost of living; if either parent becomes unemployed or if there is a change in income; remarriage and if it has a significant impact on family income; if a parent becomes disabled or incarcerated; or in other circumstances as well.

Child support modifications may be either temporary or permanent so it is helpful for parents to understand the details of them and how to request one when needed; parents can also agree to a child support modification. The issue of child support can sometimes lead to strain between parents but the family law system provides resources to help them with child support obligations and to guide them along the way.

Source:, "Can I Change a Child Support Order After Changing Jobs?" Accessed Nov. 7, 2017

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