The amount of child support that is owed by one parent another can be modified (up or down), under the following general circumstances:
- The parties consent or agree - the Court will generally adopt the parties’ stipulation if in the best interest of the child(ren);
- A motion for modification is filed with and ruled on by the Court. The Court will consider, among other things:
- Whether there is a showing of changed circumstances that are substantial;
- Whether the substantial changes are continuing in nature;
- Whether there is a 10 percent (or greater) change in the amount of child support that is owed under the child support guidelines;
- Whether one or more of the children has reached the age of emancipation, with some exceptions;
- Whether there is a significant change in parenting time;
- Whether the child(ren) has special needs, a high standard of living, etc.
Normally, a change in child support will be effective when the Court enters its decision.
If the Court agrees with the proposed motion to change the amount of support owed each month, the Court will generally consider whether the modification should be made retroactive to the date of the filing date of the motion to modify child support.
If you owe child support, you need to make sure that you continue paying the amount that you owe each month, if and until the Court issues an order changing it. Otherwise, you may become liable for contempt, back child support, and possible penalties.