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Changing a Child Support Order - What You Need to Know

One of the realities of life is that it throws us curves sometimes. Usually we're able to adapt and move on, but in some cases that's easier said than done... especially if that curve involves a major change such as a job loss or an unexpected medical emergency for one of your children.

If you are falling behind on child support payments or having trouble caring for your child on your current support level because of a change in your life's circumstances, you may need to look into changing your current child support order.

This can be done in a couple of ways. The easiest way is to simply check with the other parent to see if she or he is amenable to changing the support terms. If so, you can typically ask a judge to approve the new terms.

If you and the other parent are unable to come to an agreement on modified support terms, you'll need to request a court hearing. At that hearing each of you will make your case for the amount you feel is fair. To get a modification approved, you'll need to show how the change in your life has necessitated the request for new child support terms.

Depending on the circumstances, the court may approve either a temporary modification (such as when a child suffers a medical emergency) or a permanent modification (such as when either parent loses a job or becomes disabled, or if there's a cost of living increase, etc.)


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