When Can Child Support Payments Be Modified?

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When Can Child Support Payments Be Modified?

Child support Payments can be a significant financial burden, especially in this economy. It is common for parents to wish to have child support reduced. But when will the court allow it? In this blog, we will discuss scenarios where it is appropriate to ask for a reduction in child support.

If one parent has physical custody of the child for 92 nights or less, they will most likely owe child support. The Courts use a set formula to calculate child support, however, various factors are also considered before determining a set amount and ultimately the court has discretion.

If your circumstances have changed since the Court issued your child support order, it is possible to get that order modified by filing a motion with the Court and attending a hearing. However, it’s important to note that there must be a material and substantial change in circumstances for the Court to consider modifying your child support order—simply wanting to pay less is not enough.

The change in circumstances

When deciding to modify child support, the courts must consider if there are “substantial and continuing” changes in circumstances. The change in circumstances must amount to at least a 10% increase or decrease in the current child support order. Here are changes that can warrant a modification of child support:

  •  The child is emancipated and doesn’t live with the person receiving payment
  • Your income, or the other parent’s, has changed
  • The costs of raising the child have changed (such as health care costs or day-care expenses)
  • The number of overnight visits the child has with the other parent has changed
  • It has been three years since your order was last reviewed

After a motion to modify child support is filed, the other party has 21 days to file a written response. After the other party has had a chance to respond and all of the appropriate documents are filed, the court will decide within 49 days to grant or deny the motion to modify.

At The Drake Law Firm, we are here to answer your questions about child support. We can also assist with modifying or enforcing child support orders and handle any child custody or other child support issues you may have. Call us today at (720) 797-6790 or fill out our online form here. We are here to help!

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