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How do you request a child support modification?

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Quick Answer

Only a court can officially modify a child support order states DivorceNet. Either parent may request a modification to the current support order as a response to a change in the support needs of the child. A modification may result in an increase or decrease to the current support order.

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Although each state has its own laws determining the circumstances in which a child support order can be modified, generally the requesting parent needs to show a substantial change in circumstances, explains DivorceNet. One common change occurs when there is a change in the money needed to support the child such as child care costs or medical expenses. For instance, a modification may be requested when a child starts school since the cost of an after-school program is typically not as expensive as full-time day care.

If the parents can agree on what the modification should be, a simple worksheet may be all that is needed to submit to the court in order to modify the child support, notes DivorceNet. The court must process the modification request in order for it to be the official child support order. If the parents cannot agree, then it is recommended to hire a family law attorney to represent the parent in a court hearing.

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