Either parent can petition to modify the existing child support arrangement.
The most common reason that both parents, custodial and non-custodial, try to change child support payments is because of changes in financial situations. A custodial parent might lose their job, take a pay cut, or have their work hours significantly decreased.
If they have proof that the circumstances that lead them to try changing child support payments are valid, then they might be granted the modification.
If the non-custodial parent has any of those circumstances happen to them, they may seek to change child support amounts, at least until they get back on their feet. The proof is the most important thing one can have when trying to change child support payments.
The same rule applies if one of the parents has an increase in income. If the non-custodial parent begins making more money, the custodial parent may want to change child support payments as a way of getting the amount of money they feel is owed to them. Once an individual’s income goes up, so does the percentage of their income that is due to their child or children.
Different states have different laws about child support payments. If the custodial parent begins working or making more money, the non-custodial parent may argue that the custodial parent is better able to financially provide for the children than they are. This is especially true if the non-custodial parent has a low income and is suffering financially as a result of the child support payments.
Changing child support payments may also be possible due to a cost of living increase. This is one reason why it is recommended that parents get their child support order reviewed every two to three years by the court.
As the cost of living increases, so does a parent’s need to possibly change child support payments. Besides financial reasons, one may wish to change child support payments if the child’s visitation schedule changes.
If the child begins spending a lot of time with the non-custodial parent, then the parent could argue that they should not have to provide as much child support for the custodial parent; this is also true if the non-custodial parent begins spending less time with the child.
Changing child support payments is not always something that can be easily accomplished. A parent who thinks they have a valid reason to request to change child support payment amounts should take their case before a judge.