How to Change Your Child Support Order

A change to a child support order is a modification. At any time, either parent or the child’s legal guardian can ask for a change (called a “modification”) to increase or decrease the amount of court-ordered child support. You will need to contact your local child support agency to make a request for a modification or you can petition the court yourself. If the other party lives in another state, your child support agency may have to request that the other state conduct a review and request a modification.

The Modification Process

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  1. Initiating the Modification Request

    Once a request is made the department sends paperwork to both parties requesting information and verification of income, health insurance, and custody information. Once the completed packets are returned, a caseworker will review the information to determine if your order qualifies for DCSS to file a motion requesting that the court order be changed.

  2. Eligibility Assessment

    To qualify to have your motion completed by the department, the current support must change by at least $50 or 20%, whichever is less.

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  3. Agreement and Stipulation Filing

    If the parties agree to the new amount, DCSS can complete a signed agreement, or stipulation, and file it with the court. Once filed, the stipulation will become the new court order, and the parents will not need to appear in court.

    If either parent disagrees with the new amount, a court hearing will be set.

Points to remember

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  • You will need to provide proof of income and expenses, unemployment or disability status, child care expenses and custody/visitation arrangements.

  • To request a modification you must have an open child support case (a case can be opened at any time)

  • Your child support order can go up or down based on information gathered (the order may not be what you expected)

  • There is no charge for requesting a modification.

  • Even if your request is denied by your local agency, you can still file your own motion to go to court to have a judge or a county child support commissioner decide your order (the Family Law Facilitator can help you do this).