You may find that your current child support order no longer matches your situation. When this happens, you can request a child support modification.
There are many reasons you might need a modification. According to the Administration for Children and Families, a child support modification may be necessary if you experience a change in your circumstances. These changes might include a new custody arrangement. Additionally, you may receive a modification if you become unemployed. You can also ask a court to review your support order if the current order has been in place for three years.
How to request a modification
You usually need to contact your local court and fill out a form requesting a modification. Once you send in your paperwork, the court sets a date for a hearing. During this hearing, you can explain why you think a modification is necessary. You may need to bring your tax returns and copies of either your pay stubs or your unemployment checks. The court uses this information to determine if the current child support order is still feasible.
Sometimes you and your child’s other parent may agree that you need a modification. In this situation, you might not need to attend a hearing. The court may simply set a new child support order.
When to change a support order
You should request a new support order immediately after your circumstances change. This is because the new support order takes place from the date you file a petition. If you wait a few weeks to file a petition, you will still need to pay your current amount, even though it no longer matches your circumstances.