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A COLA clause in a child support order means that payments are to increase annually at a rate equal to the annual cost of living increase, as determined by an economic indicator (such as the Consumer Price Index). Some judges include COLAs in their orders when setting child support. This eliminates the need for any modification requests based solely on cost of living increases.
For clear legal expertise and invaluable insights into child support, see Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce, by Emily Doskow (Nolo).