Either parent can ask the court to change or modify the amount of child support payments if there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the last child support order. A substantial change in circumstances means a big change in the child's life or in the life of the paying parent.
Examples of big changes are:
- An increase in the paying parent's income (for example, from a raise or new job), usually 10% or more
- A decrease in the paying parent's income (for example, due to a loss of job or disability), usually 10% or more
- An increase in the needs of the child
- The child has a disability that requires more support
- The child turned 18 and is no longer in high school
- The child no longer lives with the parent getting support
- I don't think the child is mine
Note: If the child support order includes more than one child and one of the children turns 18, then the paying parent can file a motion to decrease child support because one of the children has turned 18.
Child support payments cannot be changed without going to court. The amount of child support owed only changes when the judge enters a new court order that changes it.
Updated: June 2017