Establishing and Calculating Child Support FAQ
I think our existing child support order is unfair. How can I change it?
5. I think our existing child support order is unfair. How can I change it?
You and your child's other parent may agree to modify the child support terms, but even an agreed-upon modification for child support must be approved by a judge to be legally enforceable.
If you and your ex can't agree on a change, you must request the court to hold a hearing in which each of you can argue the pros and cons of the proposed modification. As a general rule, the court will not modify an existing order unless the parent proposing the modification can show a change of circumstances. This rule helps prevent the court from becoming overburdened with frequent and repetitive modification requests.
Examples of the types of changes that frequently support modification orders are:
- a child's medical emergency
- the payer's temporary inability to pay (for instance, because of illness or an additional financial burden such as a medical emergency or job loss), or
- temporary economic or medical hardship on the part of the recipient parent
- either parent receives additional income from remarriage
- job change of either parent
- cost of living increase
- disability of either parent, or
- a change in the needs of the child.