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Can people change their child support orders?

Parents in Virginia raise their children for 18 years and over time circumstances may change. People may lose jobs or obtain better jobs or raises. They may have major medical problems that prevent them from working. The children may also develop medical problems or have other needs which require extra financial contributions from the parents. Because the fact that circumstances can change over time, parents can modify their child support orders if certain circumstances are met.

Reasons for Child Support Modification

One reason when child support can be modified is when either parent’s income either increases or decreases by 25%. Also, if healthcare insurance premiums or child care costs increase or decrease by 25% child support may be modified. People may be able to modify their child support orders if the healthcare coverage needs to addressed. When a child is emancipated or custody is changed, people may seek a modification.

Modifications do not happen automatically though simply because one of the events stated above occurs. A request needs to be made to the court. This request needs to come from the parents or the Department of Social Services and must be in writing in a petition to the court. The potential modification can only go back as far as the petition being filed though so it is important that people make their requests soon after the circumstances change.

There are many changes that occur throughout parent’s lives in Virginia and sometimes they can put financial strains on people. In these situations, it is important that the strain is not the burden of just one parent though since their children could also suffer as a result. So, when circumstances are met, people may be able to modify their child support orders. Child support modifications can be complicated though and are very fact-specific. Experienced attorneys understand these matters though and may be able to guide one through it.