Child Support modification

Child Support modification in North Carolina – As we all know, in life, circumstances often change. What we thought was going to happen doesn’t necessarily happen and vice versa.  This is no different when it comes to family law matters.  That is the reason that sometimes a family law order or decision can be changed or modified to the adjust to changes that may have occurred.  Previously, we wrote about Child Custody modification, but this blog will touch on Child Support modification.

Like all family law topics, Child Support modification can very complicated and difficult to navigate through.  This blog is written with that in mind to help the reader understand the basics.  Like all of our other blogs, however, this is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.

The initial Child Support order

Before there can be any modification of Child Support, there must have been an original Child Support award and order, that was recognized by North Carolina courts, and signed by a judge.  In that original proceeding or order, child support would have been decided using some of the following factors:

  • The Child Custody arrangement between the parents
  • The income of both parents
  • Whether the parents have additional children
  • Who pays for health care for the child
  • Who pays for daycare for the child

All of these factors and sometimes more would have been considered to come up with the initial Child Support order, which would have mandated the payment from one parent to the other.

When can Child Support be modified?

Typically, many Child Support orders stand with little court involvement after the initial Child Support case is completed. However, Child Support becomes reviewable after three years have passed since the last Child Support order or last Child Support modification.  In this case, two things must occur:

  • The party seeking a change in Child Support must show that there has been some change in circumstance, AND
  • The change would have to equal at least a 15 percent change in the Child Support amount when all the above-named factors are considered again.

Can I modify Child Support when less than three years have passed?

That depends.  Modification of Child Support may be available in this situation if at least one of the following can be shown:

  • Child Custody has changed
  • The financial needs of the child have changed
  • The income of at least one of the parents has changed

This has been a very basic and very general summary of Child Support modification.  In reality, it can be a very complicated area of law to navigate through, and it generally takes some expertise.  If you are in need of an attorney for modification of Child Support order or for some other family law issues in Charlotte, NC or the surrounding areas, contact us.