Modification of Support Order

Either parent, may – through a motion filed by either parent or filed by DCSS at either parents request – ask that a child support order be modified (changed) if there has been a "substantial change of circumstances" since the entry of the last order was made by the court. Usually an order is modified when there is a change in custody or visitation times or a large change in the income of either parent that will last for more than a few months.

Per state guidelines, child support agencies must try to modify an existing child support court order if the child support guideline calculator indicates that monthly child support should be increased or decreased by at least $50.00 or 20%.

A written motion requesting the modification is filed with the court and delivered to the parents. Usually the court requires both parents to file completed financial income & expense declarations, then holds a court hearing to set the terms of the new child support court order. The court hearing process provides an opportunity to the parents/parties to the motion to be present & heard in court. If either party is served with a subpoena, they must appear in court.

An order can only be modified by the court. This may be done by a written stipulation signed by the parties and by the court. Note that the parties’ signatures must be notarized. If no written stipulation is signed and filed then a written motion requesting the modification must be filed with the court. The motion must be delivered to the opposing party and DCSS. Usually the court requires both parents to file completed financial declarations, and then holds a hearing to set the new order.