Can My Child Support Amount Change? If so, how often?

You notice your ex is starting to wear fancier clothes, and just bought a brand new car.  Your kids come home from a weekend at dads and tell you all about the exciting things they did because daddy has more money.  You suspect your ex may have gotten a significant pay raise - when is it ok to ask for more child support money?

The court system does not automatically monitor wages for you or your spouse, and therefore support orders do not automatically change in accordance to income fluctuations.  A parent must request for a modification to be made if certain criteria are met.

What criteria would warrant a change in support?

Change of circumstances.  If one parent experiences a significant increase OR decrease in pay, normally at least 25%, they would likely qualify for a support modification.  If a parent inherits money or has an increased ability to support the child through another avenue, they may be asked to increase support.  Adversely, if the supporting parent loses his/her job, the court may allow for support payments to be suspended during unemployment. 

The child’s needs grow.  Often as a child grows, their expenses for clothes, food, etc. grow as well.  Perhaps the child becomes ill or disabled, and now you’re met with paying for pricey medical accommodations and other medical bills.  These types of situations would typically constitute a support modification. 

It’s been a long time since the order was placed.  If it’s been several years since the child support order was put in place, it’s likely you or your ex meet some of the above criteria.  It might be a good idea to have the case reviewed to see if a modification is feasible. 

Make sure you are able to provide evidence that there is good reason for a change before filing with the court. 

For a current listing of the child support tables, click http://leg1.state.va.us/000/cod/20-108.2.HTM

If you need help with a change in custody or visitation due to a change in circumstances, I can help you.  Call me today at (757) 320-2010

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Edrie Pfeiffer
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Edrie Pfeiffer, Bankruptcy & Divorce Attorney