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Can child support be changed?

Child support orders are supposed to be well-tailored to a given family’s situation. But, of course, families can undergo a lot of changes in their circumstances. When this happens, is a parent simply stuck with an ill-suited child support payment arrangement?

The answer is no. Child support orders can be modified after they are formed.

Now, it is important to note that one parent cannot just unilaterally decide to change such an arrangement. Rather, child support modifications generally have to be done by a court order.

There are a range of changes that a parent could make a request for such a modification over. These include:

  • Income changes, such as those coming from a promotion, demotion, job loss, new job, raise, pay cut, inheritance, etc.
  • Health changes, such as a parent or child developing a disability or major illness
  • Changes in the expenses related to a child, such as health and child care costs

It is also important to note that not all changes in a family will be found to justify a child support order modification. Generally, here in Virginia, a court will only modify an order if it finds that a shift in circumstances rises to the level of being “material.” So, what evidence a parent presents in modification hearings and proceedings to support the argument that a change is appropriate is very impactful.

Skilled family law attorneys can guide parents here in Virginia through the process of making and supporting a request for a child support order change.

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