Child Support Modification: Changing Child Support After a Change in Income
Get Legal Help Today
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.
Raising children in two separate households is tough for both parents, whether you receive child support or are required to pay. In most states, the income of each parent is considered when calculating child support payments. If your income changes, the amount of support you pay or receive may also need to change accordingly. Be aware, though, that there are certain requirements that must be met before the amount of support is changed.
First, the change must have a substantial effect on the child support amount. The court generally won’t make small changes.
The second important consideration is whether your income was decreased voluntarily. If you requested that your hours be reduced, if you decided to change professions and now you earn less, or if you were fired for cause, your income change will be considered voluntary and the support amount won’t be changed. An involuntary income change, on the other hand, such as being laid-off or taking an unpaid sick leave can result in a reduced child support amount.
There are other things you should keep in mind. Remember that the other parent’s income may also have changed, and many states consider the income of both parents when setting child support. Also, the parent receiving the request for a change may respond with a request for a change in visitation. If the change is in the best interests of the child, the court may modify the visitation schedule, which could cause the support to change in the opposite direction from what you requested.
Keep this rule of thumb in mind: It’s always best to get the advice of a lawyer who is familiar with the court in your area before requesting child support changes. If the change in support you seek isn’t significant enough or needed enough to warrant the expense of asking a lawyer’s advice, think carefully before making such a request.